Effects of Forced Migration on Women
Throughout Iraq, vulnerable women live under particularly harsh conditions due to the effects of conflict and forced migration. High levels of illiteracy, a lack of stable income, severe psychological pressure and the absence of a family breadwinner are just some of the problems facing the majority of these vulnerable women. Female unemployment and underemployment figures in Iraq stand between 50 and 60%. To alleviate this problem, systemic and sustained support for women, their families, and their communities is required. IOM response includes the Community Revitalization Program (CRP), funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). The program supports the efforts of vulnerable Iraqis to rebuild their local economy through the promotion of locally focused, broad-based economic development activities, targeting unemploymed and underemployed internally displaced persons (IDP), returnees and members of vulnerable host communities. Through this assessment, IOM was able to identify the key challenges facing women affected by forced migration in Iraq and hopes to better tailor its operations with regards to establishing sustainable livelihood for women affected by forced migration across Iraq.
Female employment in Iraq remains low, with 64% of women assessed being unemployed, underemployed or unwilling or unable to work. IOM assistance enables a large proportion of assessed women to access employment, however strong challenges remain, such as the lack of employment opportunities, the lack of skills and education, and the lack of community support triggered by strong traditional and cultural barriers. These factors play a large role in hindering women’s access to work and sufficient