In 2007, Women without Borders (WwB) supported Dr. Rajaa H. Dhaher Al-Khuzai and her organisation ‘Iraqi Widows’ to pursue a capacity building project and raise awareness of the issues faced by young Iraqi widows living in and around Amman. The project was a part of Iraqi Widows’ broader mission running under the banner ‘moving from silent victims of war toward economic independence’.

In 2007, an estimated ten per cent of all Iraqi refugees who had fled their homes in the wake of the invasion of Iraq four years prior were widows. That main recipient countries like Jordan and Syria did not grant Iraqis refugee status meant that disadvantaged groups were gravely impacted. Widows fleeing Iraq, already facing a precarious situation, had no prospect of gaining employment, and had no access to medical and psychological support. Those with children often could not afford to send their daughters and sons to school.

Against this background and with the financial backing of the Austrian anti-violence initiative ‘Wider die Gewalt’, Women without Borders (WwB) supported the Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Rajaa H. Dhaher Al-Khuzai and her organisation ‘Iraqi Widows’ to pursue a capacity building project and raise awareness of the issues faced by young Iraqi widows living in and around Amman. The project was a part of Iraqi Widows’ broader mission running under the banner ‘moving from silent victims of war toward economic independence’.

Iraqi Widows focused on providing healthcare and immunization to 100 widowed women and 250 children through prepaid cards; enrolling students in local public schools; and helping children and mothers adapt to everyday Jordanian life through organised activities. To heighten awareness of the dire situation that widows and their children were facing in Iraq, WwB offered Dr. Al-Khuzai a public platform in Vienna.

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