Iraq Program Updates

Speeches Shim

Last updated: June 22, 2021

February 3, 2021

Chra is a young civil engineer based in Erbil who speaks English, Arabic and Turkish fluently. Chra has always dreamed about her own company. Despite having a degree in civil engineering, she finds her passion in developing young children’s skills and education. Chra decided to create a mobile application called “Creative Minds” for children to develop critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills through interactive games and activities. 

February 2, 2021

As a demonstration of support for Iraq’s democratic process, the United States is providing $9.7 million to fund the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq’s (UNAMI) electoral support activities across the country. This USAID grant will bolster efforts by the Government of Iraq and Iraqi civil society to hold free and fair elections and enhance voter engagement.

January 21, 2021

A group of women in Qaraqosh sat together in a room discussing their frustrations with the way companies market their products. “Males do not have a problem of insecurity and lack of confidence compared to females. We need them to pay attention to us, too,” expressed Nora*, a participant in the Life and Digital Skills livelihoods program funded by USAID.  It was agreed that companies could do a better job of including women in their messaging and marketing campaigns.

January 21, 2021

Iraq is a tribal society. When people face problems they often go to traditional tribal and religious leaders to find solutions. This is particularly challenging for women and girls: "Women face a lot of stigma if they decide to go to the police or authorities. People might talk about them, and sometimes they might think that the woman committed a crime. Many women choose to stay silent rather than seek solutions to their problems," said Zozan, a Supervisor with the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF), a USAID partner. When problems involve violations of women’s and girls’ rights, leaders tend to use traditional solutions that favor men and may result in harmful outcomes for women, such as underage and forced marriages. In extreme cases, tribal leaders can issue decisions that could even lead to an honor killing. 

January 19, 2021

Can a person’s gender impact how safe they feel in a public space? Dark streets, isolated areas, and the risk of harassment can keep women and their families from enjoying public spaces, such as Sami Abdulrahman Park, a popular community gathering space in Erbil. Increased reports of harassment and poor lighting at night have discouraged local women and girls from spending time in the park.