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Kirkuk Women Are Building Peace

Iraq, March 13, 2009

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    Jacob Colie/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Educated professional women are working with Mercy Corps to promote peace and justice and address the literacy and social needs of women in Iraq. Photo: Jacob Colie/Mercy Corps
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Mercy Corps is training women in Kirkuk, Iraq to become leaders and work cooperatively against violence and hatred.

Mercy Corps is training women in Kirkuk, Iraq to become leaders and work cooperatively against violence and hatred. Our program builds women’s leadership and management skills so they’re equipped to design and oversee projects that steer children and youth away from violence and toward productive activities such as education and sports.

“If there is going to be democracy in Iraq it is because women step forward,” said one participant at a recent Mercy Corps gathering. It was convened to discuss the issues women face in Kirkuk and to offer women leaders training in results-based management. The training also informs women about their rights and possible roles in peace and security initiatives.

“We must raise awareness,” commented another meeting participant. “The man has to be convinced for equality between him and the woman. Women have eyes, a man has eyes. Women have hands, a man has hands. There is nothing different from them. Our duties and responsibilities have to be the same.” Like the others in her discussion group, she is excited to see change coming to her country.

Mercy Corps also strengthens local organizations to work on the issues common to all women, and promotes networking among women leaders of all political, religious and ethnic backgrounds. “I am a Kurd sitting with Arabs and a Turkmen,” said one woman at the gathering. “There is something amazing about this community – something in our hearts. We are a civil rights organization. We need justice.” are educated professionals who are working with Mercy Corps to promote peace and justice and address the literacy and social needs of women in Iraq.