Mosul struggling widows become breadwinners

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 18, 2019 - Duration: 01:21s

Mosul struggling widows become breadwinners

Widows of Iraqis killed during the rule of Islamic State militants in the city of Mosul earn a living by working at a garment factory.

Emily Wither reports.


Mosul struggling widows become breadwinners

Amid the ruins of this destroyed factory in Mosul, one small room is still whirring with the sounds of sewing machines.

Two years after the battle to recapture the city from Islamic State many families are struggling, many here were widowed by the fighting.

And like mother of three, Najlaa Abdelrahman, they've suddenly found themselves as the sole breadwinner for the family.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EMPLOYEE AT GARMENT WORKSHOP, NAJLAA ABDELRAHMAN, SAYING: "My husband was killed in this conflict.

I had an opportunity to work here, I have been working here in this workshop for a while, this is my only work opportunity.

After the conflict, we were forced to come back, even in this small hall, to continue work in order to make a living." A man who has been working at the factory for 20 years, Nathem Sultan, says the salaries they offer may not always be enough for the women, but it's all they can do for now.

Although most of the factory was destroyed in the battle, the International Organisation for Migration has restored parts of it.

It's meant around 150 people have returned to work.

Only a fraction of the more than one thousand originally employed.

The women on this production line are also trying to stich their lives back together.

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