Since October 2005, some 38 lawyers in Iraq have been killed, many of whom were defending women's rights. IRIN News, a United Nations humanitarian news and information service, reports that at least 120 lawyers have fled to surrounding countries since January because of the threats to their safety.
Lawyers at special risk for death threats and murder are those who take cases involving violations of Islamic law, such as adultery, so-called honor killings, and cases of women asking for custody of their children. In July, Iraqi lawyer Salah Abdel-Kader was found murdered in his office with a note that read, “This is the price to pay for those who do not follow Islamic laws and defend what is dreadful and dirty,” according to IRIN. He frequently took on cases involving custody disputes and honor killings.
This isn't to take away from the negative consequences that the women these lawyers are defending will suffer--as well as those women who will now not get defended, or get a worse defense, legally, because of the exodus of lawyers from Iraq--but it does speak to the consequences of standing up for the rights of women.