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Zakia Hakki

Zakia Ismael Hakki was a Feyli Kurdish lawyer who became Iraq’s first female judge in 1959. She played a crucial role in advocating for the rights of Kurdish women and fought against injustice and discrimination throughout her career. Despite facing persecution and danger, Hakki remained resilient and dedicated to the pursuit of justice and equality. Her contributions to the legal landscape of Iraq and the Middle East have left a lasting impact and serve as an inspiration to women worldwide.

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Layla Salih

Layla Salih (born 1975) is an Iraqi archaeologist who has made significant contributions to the field of ancient Near Eastern art and architecture. As the Head of the Nineveh Antiquities section in the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, she has played a crucial role in monitoring, rescuing, and documenting the remnants of ancient civilizations that were destroyed by ISIS. Salih’s dedication to her work and her significant contributions to the field of archaeology have not gone unnoticed. She has received recognition and praise for her efforts in preserving the ancient heritage of Iraq.

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Sara Mohammad

Sara Mohammad, a Kurdish-born Swedish human rights activist and pharmacist, has dedicated her life to fighting against honor killings and honor-related violence. Her personal experience with forced child marriage fueled her passion for advocating for the rights of women and girls. Through her organization GAPF, she has made significant contributions in raising awareness and preventing these forms of violence. Sara’s fearless commitment has been recognized through an honorary doctorate and her outspoken criticism of oppressive cultural norms has made her a prominent figure in the fight for women’s rights.

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Widad Akrawi

Widad Akrawi is a Kurdish health expert and human rights activist. Her experiences during the Iraqi government offensive against the Kurds and the Al-Anfal Campaign shaped her commitment to human rights. From documenting cases of torture to advocating against authoritarianism, Akrawi fearlessly fought for justice and equality. She holds advanced degrees in genetics and international health, and co-founded Defend International, a human rights organization. Recognized with numerous awards, Akrawi’s lifelong dedication and impact on society make her an inspiration to individuals worldwide.

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Margaret George Shello

Margaret George Shello, the famous Assyrian guerilla fighter and commander of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, defied gender norms and shattered expectations as the first female fighter in the Peshmerga. Her bravery, determination, and leadership qualities earned her respect and admiration from her comrades and the Kurdish and Assyrian communities. Despite her untimely death, Margaret George’s legacy continues to inspire and serve as a reminder of the important role women play in the fight for justice and equality.

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Selma Al-Radi

Selma Al-Radi was a renowned Iraqi archaeologist who left an indelible mark on the field of archaeology in her home country as well as in other parts of the Middle East. Her dedication to preserving cultural heritage, her groundbreaking research, and her pivotal role in the restoration of historical sites have reshaped the field and inspired future generations to follow in her footsteps.

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Hapsa Khan

Hapsa Khan, Kurdish feminist and nationalist leader, made lasting contributions to women’s education and rights in Iraq. She founded the first girls’ school in Sulaymaniyah and established the Kurdish Women’s Association. Hapsa’s unwavering dedication to Kurdish rights and women’s empowerment earned her recognition as a trailblazer in both women’s and Kurdish history.

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