Female entrepreneurs on the rise in male-dominated Kirkuk


Though they're still in the minority, there are thousands of women business owners in Kirkuk. From economic changes in the region to the ability to work on projects in supportive environments, Kirkuk paints a complex but encouraging picture for many ambitious women entrepreneurs. rudaw.net - KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region - When Fairouz Nasih started her own business in Kirkuk in the mid-1970s, little did she know that one day she her work would open new doors for women in the city.

Four decades later, her small sewing shop has turned into a design institute that gives complete courses in fashion, and even finds jobs for its graduates.

Nasih still remembers when she opened her very modest store in her poor neighborhood in 1974.

“I think everybody was shocked when they first heard that I ran a shop of my own,” Fairouz, now in her 60s, told Rudaw.

“I was very young, but I was extremely ambitious too, so after a while I rented a bigger place and continued from there,” said the woman, who currently owns her own fashion academy in Kirkuk.

Much has changed in the last decade with regard to women’s access to the labor market, as Iraq went through unprecedented economic growth, exclusively due to the money-spinning oil industry, which for now has declined as prices have dramatically plummeted.

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