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The women rebuilding Iraq

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The women rebuilding Iraq Empty The women rebuilding Iraq

Post by claud39 Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:35 am


[size=39]The women rebuilding Iraq[/size]

After nearly four years of conflict with ISIL, Iraq is recovering. Meet 15 women defying traditional gender roles and working to stabilize the country. Click on their photos to learn more.

Posted on March 6, 2019

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Civil Engineer, Iraq

I contribute to modernizing my society by building houses, roads, bridges, health care and educational facilities across Ninewa.

Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. But moving forward in my educational life, I realized I wanted to be a civil engineer because the field involves overcoming and solving challenges that come your way. Seeing the completed project used by the people I work for energizes me and motivates me to do more. Oh… and I really love the smell of rain on concrete floor!

My mother and then later my husband have always said: “Do and choose what makes you happy. Because at the end of the day, whether you succeed or fail, you would at least have gained experience from it.”

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Social Organizer, Iraq

The most important work we can do is to help people with sincerity and confidence. Then you can see the positive impact you have made on society.

I’m so passionate about helping women and children – they are the biggest victims of war and conflict.  I work hard to help them achieve their hopes and aspirations and ensure they can build a future by helping them return home safely.

When I was a child, I dreamed of working in the media, to cover the suffering in the world. Today in my work with UNDP, I still have the chance to make a difference.

I believe in the proverb that says, "You do not have to say all you know, but you have to know all you say." I believe that women have the right to life and freedom. They have a special way of thinking, they are creative, and they have the potential to change the world for the better.

I hope that women will embrace their right to education, their right to participate in politics and government sectors and to generally have the same opportunities as men. Because women are not half the society but the whole society and should be freed from archaic rules that are contrary to basic human rights.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Architect Officer, Canada

I work on the largest housing rehabilitation project in Iraq. Coordinating this is a huge part of achieving stabilization in Mosul.  The more houses we rehabilitate, the more people will feel safe to return and start a new beginning. 

The part I enjoy the most is meeting with the families that we are providing house rehabilitation to, seeing the results and their happiness. The most difficult part is trying to help every single person that asks for help. The work has limitations and boundaries, and it's difficult to let a person walk away without providing them the necessary help.

I ended up in this career path after making a leap to visit the roots of my family in Iraq. I never pictured what I would be doing or for who. I just knew I wanted to be in this country to help bring it back to the golden days.  

Gender equality is so important. Women need to understand they have more to offer than what society makes them believe. If it hasn’t be done before, it doesn’t mean it cannot be done.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Electrical Engineer, Iraq

My work as an Engineer makes me happy. I enjoy helping people and seeing them benefit from our impactful and credible work. The most difficult part of my job is listening to the painful stories of people and hearing about their suffering after such terrible conflict.

When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor to help people. But when I became an engineer and worked with UNDP, I was confident in my decision to choose engineering.

I hope that Iraqi women will live happily and freely without thinking about or living in fear, and I hope they have an opportunity to protect themselves and their children from hardship.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Construction Project Manager, Spain

When I was young, I wanted to be a writer, but then it turned out that I am much better at math, planning and problems-solving, so I decided to study Civil Engineering!

In my job, I help provide basic infrastructure services to the Iraqi people, so they are able come back to normal life. The best part is interacting with all the stakeholders involved in the construction project cycle, providing support to my colleagues and coordinating teams.

Being a woman in a “man’s field” like construction is sometimes tough. Standards for women are higher, we are expected to be more professional than men, more productive and more efficient. Most of the time our male colleagues do not even realize, but we are treated differently and even excluded very often. That’s why gender equality is important. When somebody (male or female) is treated on a different manner, excluded, ignored or underestimated, her/his fundamental rights are denied. I want to see this change.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Civil engineer, Iraq

I’m really happy to be part of the UNDP team, helping to rebuild and stabilize my country. It’s wonderful to see how my work benefits the people of Iraq.

In my role I face many challenges, like working with people from a different mindset, but I can manage these issues.

The best advice I have received from someone close to me is to always be strong. And also to keep an open mind - don’t be weighed down by traditions that may not translate into today’s modern world. This will help us achieve our goal of gender equality.

My wish for all the women of Iraq is that they all receive a quality education regardless of their circumstances.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Livelihoods Specialist, Palestine

My job is important because I help returnees and people who live in the liberated areas mainly Mosul City to go back to their homes,while providing them with short-term job opportunities, which is important to jump-start the local economy and achieve economic growth.

When I was young, I wanted to be an Architect. Someone who can shape the world around us. I worked for two years in Architecture,but then shifted my career towards development. Working in this field taught me the importance of shaping people’s lives – not just their worlds.

My father encouraged me to always express my honest opinion without bias, no matter what it takes and what consequences it may lead to. This was a source of inspiration in my work and life.

Gender equality is a human right for everyone. Women are not only half of the World, they are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. By achieving gender equality, we ensure equal opportunities for both women and men.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Field Monitor, Iraq

It’s a real pleasure to participate in and see the rehabilitation of cities in of Anbar after the liberation from ISIS, and seeing UNDP knocking on the doors of those who need the most help to return home.

I’ve developed many new skills through my job, such as commitment and time management.

It is difficult and painful to see the large number of widows and will remain without work even after we have helped through programs like cash grants assistance. And of course, seeing orphans who have lost their parents is very sad.

I believe in equality of all genders, it gives a positive energy to women and helps them to be creative in their work and encourages them to work hard to achieve their dreams. My hope is that women in Iraq will be liberated from traditional mindsets and oppressive rules, and that they flourish through increased job opportunities and greater progress in being equal to men.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Electrical Engineer, Iraq

Electricity in one of the most important elements of life. It crosses many sectors including health and education, and this makes my work very special.

The hardest thing I have encountered in my job in Mosul is seeing a large number of widows and orphans from the war, and not being able to provide them with sufficient assistance.

I dreamed to be involved in the media and communication sector; Oprah Winfrey is my idol! It was my father who encouraged me to be an engineer just like him, and I ended up loving my specialty, especially when I started working with UNDP and could see the joy we brought to people by helping them bring stability to their lives and cities.

Gender quality is important for women. It promotes their self-confidence and emphasizes their important economic, political and educational role in society, in addition to their important role within the family.

I wish the women of Iraq not to say “I cannot!” Just say “I can make the impossible and face all the challenges and difficulties.” And then they will be proud of every achievement they provide to the community and country.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Liaison Officer, Iraq

As a Liaison Officer, I help to facilitate all rehabilitation works in the education, agricultural and livelihoods sector, working closely with UNDP engineers, contractors and the central government in Ninewa.

My job is very interesting because it opens me up to new spaces, new people and different activities. And when there are challenges, we always manage to find solutions.   

I always dreamed of having different careers in different stages of life – for example, to be a pharmacist but then change to a job focusing on women’s protections and rights. I also have a dream to open an orphanage to help children affected by war in Iraq.

The best piece of advice I received was from my mother: “Believe in yourself and have trust in your future.” To me, gender equality is important because women play a critical role in society. Being equal means we get to showcase our terrific abilities. I want the rest of the world to see how powerful Iraqi women are!

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Architect, Iraq

My job is important it's because UNDP’s main aim is to help people affected by crisis, giving them hope and happiness.  The confidence and independence I have gained through this role is important too.

Sometimes the role is hard – I would say the most difficult thing is making people feel fully satisfied, because as much as we are trying to do for them, many people still ask for more, and it’s not always possible for us to fulfill all their needs.

Gender equality is so important because a women's role is no lesser than a man’s role. In fact, in some aspects of life, women actually play a greater role. My wish for every woman in Iraq is to develop her education and I would encourage her to continue and not give up. Even as a housewife, a woman’s role is so important because she's raising a new generation, and that's a huge responsibility.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Social Organizer, Iraq

The most interesting part of my job is interacting and communicating with people. Sometimes there are cultural differences which can be challenging, but I’ve learnt how to manage these in an effective and respectful way.

I believe in learning from your mistakes. If you make a mistake, you should own it. It’s your responsibility and not the fault of anyone else. Be strong instead of letting your mistakes get you down. Learn from them.

Gender equality is important because it enables women to showcase their capabilities and potential. It provides women with all the opportunities available to men and sees us as equal. I want to see an end to the marginalization of women, as well other things detrimental to society, like hate speech and violence.

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Livelihoods Project Officer, Syria

I help provide rubble removal job opportunities for the people in Mosul who have suffered from conflict over past few years.

The best part of my job is seeing people express how the job opportunity has changed their life, and how they now feel like a responsible and productive member of society. I also love seeing the results of cleaning, rebuilding and rehabilitating the beautiful old gorgeous cities.

Sometimes it’s difficult to encouraging someone to get out of his/her comfort zone and accept to do this kind of hard labor - it’s work they never imagined they would never have to do. Also, it’s hard being a female and dealing with different cultures that do not accept a female to lead and direct their work.

Gender equality is crucial. It’s more than more than equal representation, it is strongly tied to women's rights; it means that women and men, girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections – and that requires eliminating harmful practices against women and girls, as they are an effective part of society.  

My wish for women of Iraq is for them to believe that they are always a source of inspiration. I wish for them to break the rules and to prove how important, powerful and effective they are. Start thinking outside the box. I will tell every woman to avoid following the crowd. Walk your way alone and you'll find yourself in places no one has ever been before!  

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Gender Advisor, Pakistan

My job is extremely important because I work to empower half of population of the world – the women! Women who have so much capacity and ability to take up any role. Bringing a smile to the faces of women and girls is incredible!    

I love my job because I believe that I have a key role in giving hope and opportunities for women and girls to realize their dreams. This includes supporting rehabilitation of education, health care facilities, university dorms, water supply and energy networks. And providing employment opportunities for women especially in non-traditional sectors, like infrastructure and livelihoods programmes. When I see women and girls enjoy their life, it gives my joy!

This work brings its fair share of challenges, ranging cultural attitudes to structural barriers. Franking speaking, women’s active role for instance in stabilization and peace-building initiatives is considered less important than men’s. So it’s a challenge to create positive behavioral changes in deep-rooted patriarchal beliefs which undermine the status of a woman.

The best advice I ever received was from my father: “Empower others and this will ultimately empower you, and be just and humble with dignity in all aspects of life.” I love this advice.   

The women rebuilding Iraq Cq5dam.web.540.390


Field Monitor, Iraq

The work really makes me feel happy, because I help disadvantaged people in Anbar. Seeing them happy and appreciate our credible work is very fulfilling. I have learnt so many new skills since working with UNDP, like meeting important deadlines, working diligently, and working with a positive team spirit.

Sometimes there are challenges – the area I work in is pretty tribal and many people have a traditional mindset.

The best advice I received is: “If you are honest and love what you do, then you will be amazing in your work.”

I believe that women have the right to live freely and to earn a quality education. I hope that women of Iraq will embrace their rights and pursue things like education, politics, and jobs in the government or private sectors.


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