Back to Work

Iraqi women have always worked in both urban and rural areas, but the number of women in employment has seen a remarkable increase since the fall of Saddam.

Back to Work

Iraqi women have always worked in both urban and rural areas, but the number of women in employment has seen a remarkable increase since the fall of Saddam.

Thursday, 3 August, 2006
In a feature story from Baghdad, Omer al-Mansuri highlights the main reasons why women seek opportunities to work outside the home. Fatima Mohammed has a job at a clothing factory, which she says she needs just to keep her family going because of high prices and her husband’s low income. By contrast, housewife Saffa Abdulsatar thinks women do not need to work outside the home, especially given the current security situation. However, civil servant Nibras Abbas believes employment helps women improve their skills.



Under the constitution, men and women have equal rights and obligations, but on the ground, women face many difficulties at work. In a studio interview, Sukaina Arkawazi, a feminist from Kirkuk, says there are no laws protecting female employees or guaranteeing their rights. She also cites problems facing women such as domestic violence, men’s failure to value their work, and the lack of kindergartens.



In a feature from Basra, Ammar al-Salih reports on how women are taking on managerial roles. Sumaya Mohemmed Ali is the manager of an internet café. Unable to find a job in public service, she attended computer courses which gave her the skills she needed for her present role. Most internet users do not care whether the café is run by a man or a woman, she says.



Iraqi women have rarely been involved in the private sector until now, but a businesswomen’s association was recently established in Iraqi Kurdistan. Raz Rasul, the association’s deputy chair and manager of the Minaland Company, describes the new body as the first step on a long journey. She highlights the various obstacles - economic, political and legal – standing in businesswomen’s way, and says society is reluctant to accept women working alongside men in the private sector.
Iraqi Kurdistan
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