Guide to Women in Leadership
Iraq Heads of State
Also see Iraq Ministers
775-809 Politically Influential Caliph-Consort
Al-Haizuran of Bagdad
Also known as Khayzuran (literally, Bamboo) she was a slave, born most likely in Yemen, and gained substantial influence during the reigns of her husband, al-Mahdi (775-785), who allowed her to make many important royal decisions. After his death, it was Khayzuran who kept the peace by paying off the Caliph's army in order to maintain order. She arranged for the accession of her son, al-Hadi, even when he was away from the capitol. When al-Hadi proved less tolerant of Khayzuran's political maneuverings than had al-Mahdi, it was speculated that it was Khayzuran who arranged his murder in favour of her second, more tolerant son, Harun. Whatever the truth, Khayzuran is more fondly remembered than many of the caliphs themselves.
908-32 Politically Influential Shaghab of Baghdad
She succeeded in maneuvering the religious and military elite into recognizing her only 13 year old son, Muqtadir, as caliph. She had origially been a slave.
1410-11 Governor (and Sultan) Tandu of Badad
She succeeded her husband Shah Walad bin Ali, the Governor for the Caliph
2003 () Member of the Governing Council Dr. 'Aquila al-Hashimi
She was a career advsor of Sadam Hussein's Vice-Premier Tariq Azis and later responsible of the cooperation of the Foreign Ministry with UN about the Oil for food-programme. She had emerged as a leading foreign policy figure on the council, and she many U.N. diplomats expected her to be named Iraq's UN-representative. She was shot outside her home by unknown assailants and died five days later. She lived (ca. 1963-2003).
2003-04 Member of the Governing Council Sayyida Raja' Habib al-Khuzaai
Her surname is also transcribed as al-Khuza'i, she is a maternity hospital Director in South Iraq and a Shiite. She studied and lived in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, before retuning to Iraq in 1977.
2003-04 Member of the Governing Council Songul Chapouk
The only Turkoman in the Council and in Turkish her name is spelled Songül Çabku. Other versions of her name are Sunkul Jabkuk and Sunkul Habib 'Umar. She is a trained engineer and teacher, as well as being a women's activist.
Member of the Governing Council
Salama al-Khafaji (from december)
The 25-member council was abolished when Iraq regained sovereignty from the US occupation in June 2004.
Last update 17.07.04