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."

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