A new group of Iraqi women is tackling a big rise in suicide attacks by females, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Insurgent groups are exploiting gender norms that prevent men from searching women, giving bombers who look pregnant or are otherwise fully covered easy access to crowded areas. Female search teams are being assembled to curb such attacks, a development that could help change perceptions of women in the nation, the Monitor notes.
"When we started our work, other females said, 'How can you work a job like this?' They did not accept us, says one Daughters of Iraq member in Adhamiya. "But we insisted on doing our jobs and now the same ladies have accepted us." Some members joined after relatives were killed in attacks, while others support families with the income. Women still make up just a fraction of the government forces, but the numbers, now in the hundreds, are growing.