Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Small Budget Hinders Women’s Ministry

In an article written by Zaineb Naji for Kurdish Media, Naji reports that the “Iraqi government is not giving the moral and financial support the women’s affairs ministry needs to make real changes in Iraq.” In her article she says that the government has only paid “symbolic attention to women’s issues,” and that “politicians have not delivered on pledges they made to promote women’s rights in their election campaigns.”

According to Saweba Nasraddin, the Ministry’s executive director-general, “the department receives an allocation of $2,000 a month to carry out its programs, whereas other ministries have budgets running into the hundreds of millions of dollars.” Nasraddin goes on to say that, as a result of this small budget, “the ministry has never been able to carry through its agenda for women’s political, social and cultural issues.”

Naji reports that “this year has been particularly tough for women’s activists.” This is because “the issue of female and political power and representation took a backseat to efforts to bring Iraq’s main religious and ethnic groups in the government,” Naji says. “The ongoing violence has forced many families to flee their homes and has created high unemployment, leaving women more vulnerable than ever,” reports Naji. “This has also increased the number of widows.”

Although the ministry has faced a shortage of funding, they have been able to carry out some projects. Such projects include “supporting women’s groups and offering micro-finance schemes to allow women to start up businesses that will support their families,” Naji says. “There are also projects to tackle female illiteracy and provide health services, including sending mobile medical centres to remote rural area.”

To read this article in full click here.


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