Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment in Iraq: A Story of Progress

When I was in Iraq, I witnessed the implementation of one of the most important projects to strengthen the Iraqi labor law and empower women working in the private sector in Baghdad, Mosul and Nineveh. This endeavor aimed to fortify the fabric of the Iraqi labor law, breathing new life into the rights of women toiling in the private sector. 

The project’s impact was profound, providing legal consultation for more than 300 women and reaching over 14,000,000 Iraqis. Through a series of enlightening sessions, these brave women were equipped with the knowledge and tools to navigate the treacherous waters of harassment and discrimination. Over three-quarters of these women stood tall, a testament to their unwavering resolve and demanding their rights. But the journey did not end there, rather, it extended its reach to the very corridors of government.

The project successfully trained 60 inspectors from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and a new unit dedicated to gender equality was formed within the government. Moreover, through innovative partnerships and tireless advocacy, a mobile app was created that reached more than 700 users, empowering them to raise their voices against injustice, one anonymous report at a time. 

The WEW Project’s interventions involved components pertaining to raising awareness of the law and its guarantees, strengthening capacities, and building a diverse support ecosystem that is gender-sensitive, law cognizant, adaptive and equitable. The project also served to standardize and sustain the procedures and mechanisms within the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) that are available for Iraqi working women to access their rights under the Iraqi labor law.   

Though challenges loomed large, the seeds of change had been sown, taking root in the hearts and minds of all who dared to dream of a fairer tomorrow. This project is yet another example of what resilience looks like in the face of adversity. For while the road to progress may be fraught with obstacles, the journey itself is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. And so, as we gaze upon the horizon, let us embrace the promise of a brighter future, guided by the stories of those who dared to believe in the power of change.  

For more information about the impact of this project, read the WEP Project Summary Report.

– Hasna, the storyteller