Since the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, Iraq has seen an explosion of violence and intimidation against women. However, as al-Jawaheri demonstrates in this original and important book, this development should not have taken people by surprise. The deterioriation of gender relations was in fact an overlooked by-product of a decade of international sanctions.Interviewing women of all different ages and backgrounds, al-Jawaheri examines the impact of the UN economic sanctions on family relations, gender violence, domestic responsibilities and employment practices. She shows that by restricting womens' ability to participate in education and in the labour force, sanctions reinforced conservative gender roles. She shows how the 2003 war and upsurge in sectarianism intensified this problem, and assesses the future prospects for womens' rights in Iraq.