Marked Women

A rash of unpunished honor killings highlights the harrowing dangers females face in the new Iraq

Shaima is running for her life. Her delicate face peeks out of a black head scarf as she nervously scans the sidewalk outside a Baghdad cafe. A 24-year-old prostitute, Shaima (not her real name) lives in fear of a man who is determined to kill her. The tormentor is her younger brother, who has been delegated by his parents to murder his sister and reclaim the family's honor.

He has already come close. Last month the brother spotted Shaima walking in the sprawling outdoor market in east Baghdad. He lunged at his sister with a knife, but she fled toward a...

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