Years of war have left many Iraqi women widowed, illiterate and desperate, and their deteriorating status has made them ripe for exploitation by militants, Iraq’s minister for women’s affairs said. Nawal al-Samarraie warned of a “disaster” if more was not done to assert women’s rights, also eroded by a rising tide of fundamentalism and sectarianism that has rolled back many of the freedoms Iraqi women once enjoyed. There have been more than two dozen female suicide bombings this year, something Samarraie said highlighted the desperation of women and their vulnerability to exploitation by militants. (Reuters)

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