Women and the GOP
Iraqi Women's Caucus - U.S. Congress
Women and the GOP
The Iraqi Women’s Caucus was formed in 2003 by Members of the
U.S. Congress to help improve the lives of women in the new Iraq by
assisting in ensuring women’s access to education and professional
opportunities, encouraging women’s participation in a pluralistic
political process and the drafting of the constitution, and
developing partnerships between our two countries that will further
enhance opportunities for women.
In January 2005, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), co-chair of the caucus,
led a bi-partisan congressional delegation to Jordan to help train
and prepare the Iraqi women candidates running in the January 30
Iraqi elections. The delegation discussed the different aspects of
campaigning and the skills necessary to become a successful
legislator. During the discussions, it became clear that the three
major concerns were security, lack of infrastructure to conduct the
election, and insufficient information about parties, candidates,
and election procedures.
The Iraqi women expressed the need for a national dialogue between
all parties in Iraq to address the challenges surrounding the
political transition in Iraq, from power-sharing to addressing the
needs of each group. For many of the women, this was their first
exercise in democracy.
“Those of us in the U.S. Congress who participated are
seasoned campaigners, but none of our experiences match the
experiences of women literally risking their lives and the
lives of their families to participate in this historic
election,” Granger said. “These are educated, articulate,
successful women who are putting it all on the line for their
countrymen and women. We went there to help and encourage
them. This was an experience I will never forget, and I will
never forget them and their stories."