World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Iraq: Widows manage to support their families despite odds

Iraq: Widows manage to support their families despite rising violence

23-12-2013 News Release 13/235

Baghdad (ICRC) – With the security situation deteriorating, Iraqi women who have lost their husbands in connection with the armed conflicts of recent decades are struggling hard to earn a living. Because they face increasing hardship, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is stepping up its support for them.

There are currently over a million Iraqi women in Iraq who bear the responsibility of supporting their families because their husbands were killed, arrested, disabled by war injuries, or went missing. The women are among those hardest hit by years of armed conflict. With violence against civilians on the increase, their needs are set to grow.

"Widows in Iraq are often ill-equipped to overcome the significant challenges they face all by themselves," said Patrick Youssef, head of the ICRC delegation in Iraq. "With just a little help from us, however, they are able to take matters into their own hands, rebuild their lives and see to it that their children have enough to eat."

The ICRC seeks out the people who most need its help, including in particular women finding themselves with little or no means when their husbands die. In 2013, the ICRC helped more than 50,000 people in Iraq, including more than 1,500 women responsible for supporting their families, find a suitable way of earning a living.

"When my husband died I found myself alone. I was very tired, and the burden was unbearable. Everything was difficult for me, because my kids were small. They needed school. They needed clothes," said Huda Muttashar Naji, a mother of three. Financial support from the ICRC enabled her to open a beauty salon and hairdressing business in her own home in one of Baghdad’s poorest neighbourhoods. "Now I find myself stronger. My beauty salon is good, thank God, and I can cover all the expenses of the household."

The ICRC has been in Iraq since 1980, working to ease the effects of conflict and other violence. Its assistance activities in the country focus, among other things, on helping poor farmers boost production, providing displaced people with emergency aid, and making grants to women heading households and to disabled people so they can start small businesses, generate income and live in greater dignity.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>


World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>


Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news