Aid & Development

Carpet factory established to provide jobs for Yazidi victims of ISIS

Iraq

The International Organisation for Migration and a number of other international actors have established the carpet factory for Yazidi women in Duhok. Although the wages in the factory are simple, the Yazidi women are able to provide for their children while learning new skills.

With the help of international organisations, the local government of Dohuk Province has launched a carpet factory dedicated to providing jobs for female Yazidi victims of ISIS. The factory has provided jobs for dozens of Yazidi women, many who took courses on carpet making before starting their work there. “We were enrolled in a three-month course in Dohuk to learn how to make carpets. This factory was then opened for us to work in,” said one of the Yazidi women working there.

The initiative was funded by the German Government in addition to the local authorities in Dohuk and the International Organsation for Migration.

Although the wages are low, Yazidi women choose to work in the factory as a means to not only learn a new skill that can create more opportunities for them in the future but also to earn livings to feed their families, especially since many of their men were killed by ISIS. “If it wasn’t for these circumstances and the mass extermination that we faced, [we wouldn’t work in the factory] because the wages are very low, but we have no choice but to work here,” said a Yazidi woman. “Many of the women here are widows, and they have orphans that they have to feed.”

In August 2014, ISIS attacked the district of Sinjar in Nineveh Province. The attack on Sinjar led to the slaughter of over 3,000 Yazidis and the enslavement of thousands of female Yazidis. The United Nations declared this attack an act of mass extermination as the entire Yazidi population in the areas was either killed, enslaved or forced to flee.

However, after the defeat of ISIS in Iraq in December 2017, the Yazidi population is slowly returning to their areas and rebuilding their homes and houses of worship.

Multiple initiatives and projects have been launched by national and international organisations to try and return a sense of normalcy to the Yazidis community in Iraq.

These projects show that Iraqi society is interested in creating a safe environment for the country’s minority communities, who have long lived amongst the nation’s Muslim and Arab citizens.