Cablegate: Nomination for 2010 Secretary's Women of Courage

DE RUEHGB #3121 3351449
P 011449Z DEC 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 111471

1. (SBU) Per Reftel, Embassy Baghdad is pleased to submit its
nominee for the Secretary's 2010 Award for International
Women of Courage, keyed to the priorities in the reference.
The nominee has been informed of the Ambassador's intention
to nominate her and is available to travel in March 2010.

2. (SBU) Nominee: Iman Kadhim Abood Al-Bawi
Date of Birth: August 16, 1967
Country of Birth: Iraq
Citizenship: Iraqi
Job Title/Association: Senior Program Manager, CHF
Address: CHF Ramadi Compound, Ramadi, Iraq
Telephone: 964 (0) 780-143-2946;

3. (SBU) Iman Abood is a Senior Program Manager with CHF
International, a development and humanitarian organization
involved in health, governance, infrastructure, economic
development and housing projects in Iraq. Many of the
programs support women's political, economic and social
advancement. In 2007, CHF was looking for volunteers to
establish a variety of USAID Community Action Programs (CAP)
in war-torn Anbar Province. At the time, Anbar had only
recently emerged from three years of incessant combat between
Coalition Forces and a determined Sunni insurgency, lead by
Al-Qaida. No one wanted to take the job, except Iman.

4. (SBU) As a liberal Shi'a woman, Iman was a very unlikely
candidate to spearhead community-based programs in an
almost-exclusively Sunni province dominated by conservative
Bedouin tribes. In some areas of Anbar, women are still
persecuted for attempting to hold positions in government and
are beaten for working with NGOs. Iman has personally faced
mortal danger on more than one occasion, having recently
survived a car bombing in Ramadi, ad yet she has not only
persevered, but has excelled in her job.

5. (SBU) Anbar Province contains a disproportionate amount of
war widows, having experienced the brunt of combat during the
insurgency years. As a prime implementer for the Marla
Ruzicka Fund, Iman has supported more than 2,000 individual
and community projects that directly benefit these widows.
The fund provides them with vocational training and
equipment, in addition to micro-loans for the establishment
of small businesses. By giving these women the tools to
become active participants in the local economy, the Marla
Ruzicka Fund has advanced the cause of women's rights in
Anbar Province and prompted a re-evaluation of their role in
this conservative society.

6. (SBU) In addition, Iman has managed and executed CAPIII
projects such as school renovations, literacy programs,
neighborhood cleanups, water and sewage rehabilitation, and
small infrastructure repairs in the cities of Falluja,
Ramadi, Hit, Haditha, Anah, Rutbah and Al-Qa'im. Between the
Marla Ruzicka Fund and the CAPIII program, Iman has managed
over $4,000,000 in USAID grants since 2007.

7. (SBU) It is important to note, as well, that Iman
developed and implemented these programs from scratch. When
she arrived in Anbar, CHF had no presence in the province.
Since taking the position in 2007, she has established
offices in some of the most conservative and dangerous cities
in Iraq, such as Rutbah, Rawah and Al-Qa'im. She traveled to
Anbar by herself, recruited and trained her staff, and
pitched CAP programs to local mayors, city council members,
directors general and tribal sheikhs. She has succeeded in
implementing these programs through sheer determination and
force of will.

8. (SBU) Iman's efforts have been a fundamental component of
the USG's reconstruction and capacity-building mission in
Anbar Province, and have produced tangible results that have
improved the lives of the Anbari people.
Qimproved the lives of the Anbari people.


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