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Yanar Mohammed

Yanar Mohammed is the founder of Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), an organization fighting to stop atrocities against women and advocate for women's social, political and economic rights.

  • Yanar Mohammed opened the first shelter for women in Iraq in 2004 for women who flee "honour killings" and systemic violence resulting from the war. The authorities currently try to illegalize the safe houses of the OWFI.
  • She is the editor of "Al Mousawat" (Equality) which publishes women's empowerment literature and circulates throughout Iraq.
  • Yanar’s continuous TV presence sent out messages to Iraqi women to hold on to their feminist positions against their oppressors, whether the horrors result from the military occupation or the new religious militias and sectarian groups who have reached to power.
  • Yanar started a woman-friendly youth movement based on poetry, music, theatre, and the arts within what is called the "Freedom Space". This movement has spread into many cities which were formerly under the influence of Al Qaeda, or currently under the influence of AL Sadr.
  • After 5 years of work under occupation, Yanar is a leading figure of feminism and freedoms and a symbol of challenge to both of the military occupation and the Islamist government.
    Yanar Mohammed was short-listed for the 1325 Award for women working in conflict zones – under the 1325 UN resolution. This award was decided by the Dutch government.

She was presented the Eleanor Roosevelt award for human rights in 18-5-2007.
Yanar Mohammed is a long-time friend of V-day who have helped to support her in opening women's shelters in Iraq.