than double this proportion. They also note that 25% exceeds the number of women represented in the United States Congress and that the TAL is the only Arabic- language constitution clearly indicating that “gender-specific language,” that is language written in the more commonly used Arabic masculine form, “shall apply equally to male and female.” 33
U.S. Programs Targeting Women in Iraq
Although figures on total U.S. spending on Iraqi women’s programs are not available, the Bush Administration has launched some initiatives in the past year targeting women. In light of increasing violence in Iraq, it is difficult to assess the extent to which these programs have been sustained.34 While women may benefit from a range of reconstruction and humanitarian programs, there are a few discrete programs that address women’s issues directly.
In conference report language (Conf. Rept. 108-337), accompanying the FY2004 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation (P.L. 108-106, passed in November 2003), which provides $18.4 billion for Iraqi reconstruction, conferees included $10 million “to support women’s programs” in Iraq. In February 2004, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz announced that “the United States is giving special emphasis to helping Iraqi women achieve greater equality and has allocated $27 million for women’s programs.” He added that “Education for women is one of the highest priorities, and the United States has committed more than $86.8 million to education projects, with special emphasis on ensuring that girls are registered and attending school.” 35
In March 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a $10 million Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative, intended to “train Iraqi women in the skills and practices of democratic public life. Programs will include education for democracy, leadership and political advocacy workshops, entrepreneurship projects, media training for women aspiring to careers in journalism, and activities to help
33 “Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period, 8 March 2004,” op. cit.
International Development (USAID), the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Treasury. For more information on sector allocations within the FY2004 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, see [http://www.congress.gov/brbk/html/apfor38.html], Iraq Reconstruction and Supplemental Proposal (in the CRS Foreign Operations Appropriations Briefing Book),
by Rhoda Margesson and Curt Tarnoff.
35 “Women in the New Iraq,” February 1, 2004, [http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2004/ sp20040201-depsecdef0844.html].