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Women's Renaissance Club


The first women's association in Iraq.

The Women's Renaissance Club was established on 24 November 1923, mainly by wives of leading politicians and women from socially prominent families. Its aim was to promote women's welfare by emphasizing charity, education, and the arts. The club worked to increase the number of schools for girls, raise women's educational levels through literacy and sewing classes, and provide for the education and care for orphans. It worked to "combat unacceptable customs that are rejected by all God's precepts, and social customs that violate honor and goodness, and hinder the economy of the country."

The club was essentially a charitable organization to assist less fortunate women. Although it did not fight for the removal of the veil, it considered the veil an issue that could be resolved by social education. This incurred the wrath of conservatives, particularly Muslim conservatives, who felt that the club would corrupt family morals and bring Westernization. Although it was no more than a social club for upper-class women, its advocacy of education for girls was enough that it was forced to close in 1925 under pressure from conservatives.

see also arab nationalism; art; gender: gender and education; gender: gender and law; gender: gender and politics.

jacqueline ismael

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