More than 4 million Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are struggling to rebuild their lives in Iraq. Despite a lack of economic opportunity and near-constant threats of gender-based violence in refugee camps and host communities, women in Iraq are determined to find their power and use it to rebuild their lives. 

Since 2003, Women for Women International has served over 21,000 women in Iraq in Baghdad, Karbala, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Shekhan. The program has reached populations of Iraqi women, displaced Yezidi peoples, and Kurdish women. Over the last three years of intensive work in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), our Iraq staff have gained critical knowledge of conflict situations and the needs of those affected by them. Our team engages women through the Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program to build knowledge of rights, develop business and vocational skills, and form networks for support and advocacy. 

Because including male family members and peers in breaking gender norms is crucial to achieving equality, our Iraq staff have reached over 1,600 male leaders and family members through our context-specific men’s engagement program. The program addresses barriers women face in and beyond the household and how men can support their women peers as they realize their social and economic power.