Deep sense of uneasiness, sounds of thumping feet, dust strewn atmosphere, where every moment of a second becomes harbinger of violence & bloodshed… rattling of weapons, sounds of thudding bullets, the very atmosphere, gives you a panoramic view of Mahmoody’s novel, Not Without My Daughter.
No doubt, Iraq is burning in the insurmountable flame of agony affecting the populace till extreme… people have been divided into two categories, one who can stand nothing except bloodshed while the others, who have been fallen into the dungeons of despondency, quite similar to the latter category, there falls a section who has been the worst sufferers of the pain and they are ‘the pregnant women’ of the miserable nation. The violence destroyed the life of my son while he was still in my uterus, says a victim.
1. Maternal mortality rates have been rising since the last 15 years.
2. In 1989, 117 mothers out of 100,000 died during pregnancy or childbirth and the figure has now gone up by 65 per cent.
3. Out of one million babies born in Iraq in the last 12 months, at least 40,000 of them have been born to displaced families while other who survived are living in unsanitary conditions in camps.
Ongoing strife is making women live under the sky of apprehension; they are sulking in pain not for their existence or suffering but for the life within. Unbridled brutality and prevailing blackouts make the access of medical care nearly impossible for the needy women consequent upon which, the lives of unborn babies are snuffed out by the actions of violent criminals. This is one aspect of the aftermath of that torpedo which was initiated by the oil aficionado U.S. President George W. Bush, his ally Tony Blair, and their domestic and foreign supporters, who tagged Iraq to be a hub of developing weapons for mass destruction.
As is the ‘custom’ of every war, people in authorities become the spectators while the masses turn out to be pawns in hands of high profile people and in here, women have taken the role of pawns and are paying a heavy price. Large numbers of them are facing delivery difficulties,for at least two women in every 12 who seek emergency delivery assistance here, either the mother or her child dies, says a gynecologist.
Impending social scenario along with choked economy has garroted women, who have abandoned their education, (if they were among the fortunate ones), thus dropping both their financial liberty plus their best opportunities for self-determination and liberation. Yet this loss seems almost trivial during a time when most women in Iraq are struggling to protect the life of the little one that is still nourishing in their womb but are uncertain regarding the unborn’s survival.
Iraq has already witnessed blood streams of thousands of children and this is completely inexcusable! This blockade has already seen numerous child slaughters, and will observe more if the situation continues.
In 2005, the US assured quality health care to women as part of their re-construction project in the region but how far has the commitment materialized? Americans articulate that they came to liberate the people, well, if this is called liberation, what would be devastation then?