Association for Crisis Assistance and Development Co-operation

Activities of the Halabja Women Center in the 2. Half of 2007

A. Vocational Training Courses:

1. Sewing Courses:
Four courses with a total of 120 participants

2. Barber Courses:
Five courses with a total of 85 participants 

The Centres offer Sewing and Barber Training Courses on a monthly base. These courses skill women to produce clothes for domestic needs at home and to learn barbering, one of the professions women in these area are regularly doing at home for neighbours and family members. The facilities of the centres are open in the afternoon for women to be used. The centers offer barbering services on a very low costs level for all women in the area.
These courses also intend to empower women learning new skills and learn to work and study together. These courses are regularly booked out and until now more than 1200 women were participating since January 2004.

3. Handcraft Courses:
Five courses with a total of 100 participants

4. Literacy Courses:
Six classes with a total of 47 participants.

The number of illiterate women is extremely high in an area that  was neglected by the government for decades and later on ruled by Islamists. The literacy program is designed for a period of 14 months and ends with an examination.

5. Computer Courses:
Six courses with a total of 90 participants 

Computing and the ability to make use of the internet is crucial for the development of the region. While women are ousted from various sectors of economical activities and jobs (such as market trade) computing is one of a few spheres that are not clearly dominated by males. Knowledge in computing is not merely needed for better job opportunities but also to gather information and communicate via internet. Internet became one of the most important sources of  information in Northern Iraq - using internet is not prohibited by governmental  authorities. 

B. Seminars:

Weekly the center prepares seminars to which about 15 to 20 women participate. In an open discussion with a lawyer and a social worker, the women may address their problems. They receive legal and social advice. From July to the end of December 12 seminars were prepared and a total of 160 women benefitted from this program.

C. Radio Program:

Weekly the center prepares one radio program which is broadcasted by “Dange Nwe” Radio, in their program called “Huma”. A large number of women of the region are listening to it regularly. In the program many questions are discussed relating to women's daily life issues. Several times interviews were made with professionals and women activists.

D. Leisure and Fun:

At the end of every month, the staff of the center and the women clients are preparing a big picnic and party, where they all come together. It cannot be stressed enough that all this takes place in an area, which not so long ago was ruled by Ansar al-Islam, where women where banned into their houses and had no rights. Now, these women build up a center, use it and come together to celebrate.

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