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Empowered Women Photograph by Ed Kashi
Preparing to lead all-female units of the Kurdish militia, or peshmerga, women officers study military strategy at a base near Suleimaniya. During the Kurds' long struggle against Saddam Hussein, women at first worked behind the front lines building camps, tending the wounded, and spying on the enemy. But beginning in 1996 they officially took up arms as members of the Peshmerga Force for Women. "Kurdistan is totally different from the rest of Iraq," says Parwen Babaker, herself a minister of industry in the region. "Women ministers, judges, and soldiers are exercising an equivalent role as men."
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark II Film Type: Digital Lens: 22mm Speed and F-Stop: 1/100 @ f/2.8
Weather Conditions: Indoors Time of Day: Afternoon Lighting Techniques: Natural light