Ala Talabani

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Ala Talabani is a "former vice president of the Kurdistan Women's Union. She "fled Iraq in 1991 for the United Kingdom after she was fired from engineering and teaching positions for her Kurdish ethnicity and for not being a member of the ruling Baath Party.

Talabani co-founded Women for a Free Iraq with Zainab Al-Suwaij in 2003. "They only met personally after the American occupation" in Iraq. [1]

Also in 2003, Talabani cofounded the Iraqi Women's High Council, which, with Women for a Free Iraq, "drafted policies on the role of women in Iraq's post-conflict reconstruction." [2][3]

Ala Talabani's uncle is Jalal Talabani, "a member of the governing council and the Secretary General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's political party. 'We, the women of Iraq, are uniting,' says Talabani. 'We are the most organized sector of the civil society in our country. We won't be ignored anymore.'" [4]


"A fierce advocate for Kurdish and women’s rights, Ms. Talabani joined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of Iraq’s largest opposition parties, in 1986. Joining Iraq’s women’s movement three years later, she spent five years as vice president of the Kurdistan Women’s Union. She was fired from engineering and teaching positions for being Kurdish and for not being a member of the ruling Ba’ath Party, and she was detained for two days by the Iraqi security service and interrogated about her religious and political beliefs. Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Ms. Talabani fled with her family to Iran, back to Iraq, and then to Syria. They eventually arrived in the United Kingdom, where she continued to speak on behalf of Kurdish and other Iraqi women. She has met with President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair and contributed to a number of British and Arab newspaper and magazine articles on the state of Iraq and its Kurdish population. Following the fall of Hussein’s regime, Ms. Talabani returned to Iraq, where she was nominated, though not appointed, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council and deputy to the minister of social affairs." [5]

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