UN: women "de-mine" stereotypes in Sinjar, Iraq

UN: women "de-mine" stereotypes in Sinjar, Iraq

Shafaq News/ “Working in the mine action sector showed me that traditional constraints are created to be broken!” says Dina Khuder.

She, Mahrosa Abdulmuneer, and Maha Jamal are Iraqi women working for the Shareteah Humanitarian Organization, an implementing partner with the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Sinjar.

Women are valuable players in mine action.

Mahrosa Abdulmuneer is a searcher, who works to rid areas of explosive ordnance. To sharpen her skills, she has participated in every training course and capacity-building opportunity.

“As a mother of two kids, I believe that my work is contributing to providing safe areas for children to play around and live their childhood and make nice memories,” she says.

“I’m saving another life on my land.”

Maha Jamal, a member of the Explosive Hazard Management Team, has enrolled in capacity enhancement initiatives throughout the last three years to advance her knowledge and skills.

She joined the mine action sector because of seeing the direct effect of mine action on people’s lives.

“I feel proud and happy when I discover and remove an explosive item knowing that I’m saving another life on my land,” says Ms. Jamal.

Dina Khuder is a deminer.

She eagerly awaits scoring new records in explosive ordnance disposal training courses and advancing her career by taking a leadership position.

She focuses on breaking the traditional image of a male-dominated field of work and supporting communities in restoring their lands which were previously contaminated with explosive ordnance.

“The community rejected us as women in mine action, then gradually they changed their minds when they saw the results of our work to the extent of cheering and supporting us,” says Ms. Khuder.

Including women in mine action is a priority across the sector; however, we still have far to go.

(UN report)


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