Skip to main content
In 2014, politician Vian Dakhil appealed to the Iraqi parliament and the international community to put an end to massacres perpetrated by the Islamic State and rescue the Yazidi refugees trapped on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

Vian Dakhil was born in 1971 and raised in Mosul in northern Iraq as the oldest of nine children. She ventured into politics after teaching biology at a local university. Back in 2003 and 2004, some of her Yazidi students became targets in the civil conflict that ensued after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and she stepped in to help.

Vian Dakhil was first elected to Iraq’s Parliament in 2010 and re-elected for a second term in 2014 on the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s ticket. Ever since, she has worked tirelessly to help tens of thousands of Yazidis who have fallen victim to ISIS. Her main focus is rescuing Yazidi girls and women who are abducted, enslaved and sold at markets like “in the Middle Ages,” she says. “When something like this happens to the Yazidi people, it happens to all of us. We are family; we feel it as deeply as that. The sexual enslavement of Yazidi women is like public rape of our community,” says Vian.