Lawlessness and sectarian violence quickly engulfed Iraq after the fall of Saddam, leaving women especially vulnerable. Correspondent Anna Badkhen and photojournalist Mimi Chakarova visited a secret women's shelter in Baghdad to meet with rape victims and war widows and document their stories. CIR spoke to the reporters in their hotel room in Baghdad via Skype for this episode of The Investigators. The Investigators is CIR's web-video series highlighting investigative reporting—as it happens—by journalists around the world.
Anna Badkhen has covered wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. She has reported extensively from Iraq since 2003. Her reporting has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The National, FRONTLINE/World, Truthdig, and Salon. Her book, "A War Reporter's Pantry," will be published in January 2011 by Free Press/Simon&Schuster. Read her reporter's blog for CIR.
Mimi Chakarova is a photojournalist and photography instructor at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Her solo exhibitions include documentary projects on South Africa, Jamaica, Cuba, Kashmir and Eastern Europe. She is currently working on two long-term projects that examine the conflict in Kashmir and sex trafficking of women in Eastern Europe. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, CBS News 60 Minutes, and FRONTLINE/World.