Local organisations have teamed up with the UN to provide education and skills training for women in Mosul who were widowed during the war.
In their efforts to rebuild the city of Mosul in northwest Iraq, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working with a local organisation to empower women and rehabilitate schools and health centres. The project, which was recently launched, will last for about 45 days and is currently employing 90 women, most of whom are widows or sole providers for their families.
“We work in schools and health centres,” said Maha Majid, a UNDP Field Director in Iraq. “When we enter health centres or schools, we divide ourselves into groups for painting and crafts according to skilled and unskilled workers. We also repair and equip some schools.”
According to the organisers of this programme, many of the women who are employed for this project have lost their husbands or parents during the operations to defeat ISIS. The rest of the young women hired for the programme are recent graduates from the city.
“We are graduates of the Institute of Fine Arts [in Mosul],” said Manal Idris, a young graduate from Mosul. “Some of our most talented painters came to Western Mosul and painted the schools that need our services.”
The workers stressed that their services are an attempt to provide the next generations with a safe and attractive environment to learn in.
This project is one of many UNDP initiatives taking place in the city of Mosul following its liberation from ISIS in December 2017. In another recent initiative, the UNDP has collaborated with locals to rebuild up to 15,000 homes across 29 different neighbourhoods in the city of Mosul.
While the city requires much more effort and resources to be fully rebuilt and rehabilitated, these cooperation projects that seek to alleviate the suffering of residents, are a positive step forward. Furthermore, the inclusion of women and the promotion of their role in the rebuilding process is something that is admirable and should be further encouraged, as women are half the society and play an important role in reconciliation and rehabilitation.