Along a five-kilometer (three-mile) stretch of road in Sulaimaniyah, an Iraqi Kurdish artist on Monday unveiled a stitched collage of clothing from women survivors of domestic violence.
“Three months ago, I started collecting clothes from women victims of violence at the hands of their husbands and families across the region,” Tara Abdallah, who sewed the works, told AFP. of art hung across town.
The visual artist had asked the surviving women to donate a piece of clothing that symbolized their trauma and sewn them together to create a giant, colorful patchwork.
“I have heard a lot of stories about the violence that women in our society have endured during my research … Every piece of this work has a story behind it,” she said.
The UN regularly condemns the “honor killings” of women in Iraqi Kurdistan, which presents itself as progressive, based on sexual behavior.
About 37.5% of Kurdish women aged 15 to 49 are also forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, according to the United Nations.
This figure is less than 1% for women in the rest of Iraq.
Out of desperation, Iraqi Kurdish women often commit suicide to escape domestic violence or forced marriages.
Human rights groups say domestic violence increased around the world during the lockdown earlier this year to stem the coronavirus pandemic.
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