US embassy cable - 06MOSUL15

LOCAL NGO LAUNCHING NEW WOMEN'S CENTER IN MOSUL

Identifier: 06MOSUL15
Wikileaks: View 06MOSUL15 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: REO Mosul
Created: 2006-02-14 15:00:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PGOV PHUM IZ ECON ELAB SCUL SOCI PINT Women
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MOSUL 000015 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, IZ, ECON, ELAB, SCUL, SOCI, PINT, Women's Rights 
SUBJECT: LOCAL NGO LAUNCHING NEW WOMEN'S CENTER IN MOSUL 
 
REF: 2005 MOSUL 148 
 
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SUMMARY 
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1.  (SBU) In an effort to address concerns of unemployment, job 
training, and community counseling for Iraqi women, members of 
the Assembly of Ninevah NGOs, a local NGO umbrella organization, 
have created a second women's center for western Mosul.  The 
effort expands on the already existing Iraq Women's Center, 
located on the eastern side of the Tigris River, by dividing the 
city to better meet the needs of the community.  The 
organization is searching for a permanent headquarters location 
and is requesting donor assistance for the expansion.  End 
Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU) PRT Poloff met with Assembly of Nineveh NGOs director 
Mohammed Tahir, Iraqi Women Institute (IWI) director Rajaa 
Zeedan Radhe Al-Ukabee, and IWI members Ibrahim Mohammed Ibrahim 
Hussein, Wafa Ahman Ismael, Kareema Mohammed Shanawee, and Sara 
Mohammed Ibrahim Hussein, in Mosul on February 9. 
 
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MORE WOMEN'S CENTERS TO HELP THE COMMUNITY 
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3.  (SBU) Assembly of Ninevah NGOs director Tahir (who is also 
the deputy director of the Independent Electoral Commission of 
Iraq "IECI" branch office in Mosul) said women are the "pillar 
of strength in Iraqi society."  He said he believes one center 
is "not enough" to address the concerns of women in the city. 
Tahir, with center director Al-Ukabee, said the new center would 
work "hand-in-hand" with Anan Ibrahim Al-Qado's Iraq Women's 
Center (formally directed by Nafia'a Nafia'a who was 
assassinated in October 2005) (reftel).  The idea, according to 
Tahir and Al-Ukabee, is to have two centers that can focus 
completely on opposite sides of the city, but work collectively 
to address the community. 
 
4.  (SBU) The new center launched this year, called the Iraqi 
Women Institute (IWI), already has eight board members with 243 
registered members.  By contrast, Iraq Women's Center (IWC) has 
235 registered members.  Tahir said both organizations are 
"gaining in membership" and are struggling for resources to meet 
the demands of the community.  IWI is currently operating out of 
a four-bedroom home on the western side of Mosul, using two of 
the bedrooms for classrooms and daycare and the other two for 
housing volunteers.  Al-Ukabee would like to expand the center 
to a new and larger headquarters in the west.  She has dreams of 
creating a computer learning center and classrooms that could 
teach trade classes, such as sewing, and business and managerial 
skills.  She said she believes there are "too many young women" 
in Mosul who "have no direction" due to high unemployment.  In 
addition to the services mentioned above, IWI conducts 
pre-marriage counseling for young couples, and after-marriage 
sessions for recently divorced women.  Tahir, who oversees more 
than 200 non-government organizations, said IWI and IWC are 
fully compliant and registered with the central government in 
Baghdad. 
 
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REQUEST FOR DONOR ASSISTANCE AND COMMENT 
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5.  (SBU) Al Ukabee is looking for donor assistance to help 
address the organization's expansion, since she claimed the 
center is completely reliant on dues payments by members and 
contributions.  Tahir said the goal is to create many more 
women's centers in and outside of Mosul to meet the needs of 
Ninewa's female population.  The original center, IWC, has been 
very successful since liberation, and played a significant role 
during the national election by conducting three outreach 
conferences for women.  The conferences, funded by Embassy 
Baghdad, focused on women's role in democracy, voting, and 
election monitoring.  Observing the positive role IWC has played 
over the past few years, we can conclude that the expansion of 
more community organizations seems a positive step forward 
towards empowering women in Iraqi society. 
 
MUNTER 

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