Zainab Salbi, a critically acclaimed author, is the founder of Women to Women International, an organisation which helps women in post conflict zones.
As an Iraqi American, women in Iraq hold a special place for Zainab.
She grew up in the shadow of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president as her father was his personal pilot.
She also witnessed first hand the violence of the Iran-Iraq war and decided early on in her life that she would help other women whose lives had been torn apart by war.
She fled Iraq at the age of 19 and just a few years later, in 1993, started Women to Women International.
Her organisation has now helped more than 120,000 women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Kosovo, Nigeria, Colombia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.
Since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, she has made more than 20 trips to her home country to chronicle the status of women and girls. Zainab just returned from her most recent visit and reports that there have been many changes.
She is deeply concerned about the growing number of impoverished women and the effects that will have on the rates of literacy, early marriage and polygamy.
And she is shocked by a new generational development, where young women in their 20s are less educated than their own mothers and are growing up with fewer liberties.
In this special episode of Inside Iraq from Washington DC, Al Jazeera's Abderrahim Foukara discusses with Salbi the status of women and girls in Iraq today.
This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, August 14, 2009.