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Fatima al-Bahadly

Fatima Al-Bahadly

Al-Firdaws Society
Front Line Defenders Middle East & North Africa Regional Award

Fatima Al-Bahadly is an Iraqi woman human rights defender from the city of Basra in southern Iraq. She is the founder of Al-Firdaws Society, an organization focused on protecting women and girls affected by war and strengthening their role in peace building. Al-Firdaws provides literacy, education and skills workshops and works to bring an end to violence against women in areas where women are most marginalised, including rural areas. Fatima and her organisation raise awareness among community members about the impact of child marriage and early school leaving on women and girls, calling on religious clerics and tribal leaders to recognise the important role that women play in society. Fatima also works with youth to combat the militarisation of society. She fights against the recruitment of children and youth to militant groups and works on their reintegration into society. Due to this work through the years, Fatima has been the subject of death threats and has faced severe social pressure from her tribe.


Human rights defenders in Iraq have been subjected to attack, harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention without trial.