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“Iraq has a very high population of educated people and they are all aware of women’s rights, and we are not asking for anything beyond the norm of our culture and religion,” she said.

Women had many rights in the early years of Saddam Hussein’s rule and were active in the workplace, but these rights steadily deteriorated toward the end of his dictatorship as he tried to court Islamic support.

The insurgency, which has targeted all sectors of Iraq’s society, also has hit women hard, killing professional women and threatening those not wearing Islamic head coverings. Christian women regularly wear scarves and long skirts to avoid being targeted on the streets.

Julia Gimadyeva contributed to this report.