Kur­dish Women find in­de­pen­dence in em­ploy­ment

Many Kur­dish women use their salary for pur­chas­ing jew­elry

The Kurdish Globe - - REGIONAL -

Un­like be­fore, the num­ber of fe­males work­ing in both pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors are in­creas­ing dra­mat­i­cally since women think they can buy any­thing they like with­out de­pend­ing on their par­ents or spouses.

Tens of thou­sands of fe­males an­nu­ally grad­u­ate in the univer­si­ties and tech­ni­cal in­sti­tutes in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. Upon fin­ish­ing their col­leges, many ladies ap­ply for jobs in both pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government (KRG) hires some thou­sands in the pub­lic sec­tors based on skills, de­gree, and needs. Men and Women have equal chances to work in the government sec­tors.

Women's de­mands have in­creased due to watch­ing TV ad­ver­tise­ments for home fur­ni­ture; and the dubbed shows and dra­mas have great im­pacts on them to mimic west­ern liv­ing style.

"With the money I make as a government em­ployee I have bought many things. I spent $ 4,000 for kitchen fur­ni­ture. Be­cause my hus­band has no time to take me to the mar­ket and to work I am plan­ning to buy a car in the next few months. I am not say­ing that women are to­tally like men in all respects, but I would say women can do a lot of things that were done only by men in the past. There are many things, which used to be owned by men, are now owned by women as well," said Gulzar Ah­mad, 34, a fe­male en­gi­neer work­ing in an oil com­pany in Er­bil

Kurda Otham, an­other lady who is mar­ried and has two kids, is teach­ing in a ba­sic school in Er­bil and makes 700,000 Iraqi Di­nars monthly. She said "I saved $ 3,000 in the first year of work­ing. I was able to buy a neck­lace I liked for many years. Be­fore I got em­ployed, I had to ask my hus­band in or­der to buy any­thing I needed. I couldn't buy ev­ery­thing I liked be­cause my hus­band was paying me only for buy­ing what I needed. But now I buy any­thing I like be­cause the money is mine,"

Most of the Kur­dish women are be­lieved to spend % 70 of their money for buy­ing jew­elry. It is an old cus­tom that is car­ried along to­day; jew­elry is the ul­ti­mate ac­ces­sory for any women. In Kur­dish so­ci­ety if a con­fronta­tion is faced in a mar­riage and the fam­ily need ad­di­tional money then in such cir­cum­stances the woman's gold is sold, this way the money is al­ways there.

"Many peo­ple blame women for pur­chas­ing a lot of gold. In my view, gold is women's money; it is money. Many friends of mine have helped their hus­bands by sell­ing their gold for buy­ing cars and even houses. I am ready to sell my gold if I feel my fam­ily need some­thing at home," noted Oth­man

Ac­cord­ing to, Luq­man Sofy, who has masters de­gree in so­ci­ol­ogy, the main idea be­hind women's de­sire for gold is if the mar­riage is un­suc­cess­ful, the only way a woman can stand on her feet, is to de­pend on the gold that she has.

"Gold isn't like a dress af­ter wear­ing for a long to throw away. Gold is never wasted, it is 'stored money', this way, there is al­ways a last re­sort that women can re­ply upon if all else fails. Woman can sell her gold to get cash. In this case, the more she has the more she ben­e­fits." Ex­plained Sofy

Kur­dish Women whether rich or poor all love gold. They feel in­de­pen­dent and happy when they have gold. Be­cause many women nowa­days have monthly in­come, de­mands for gold have in­creased no­tice­ably for the last decade. Due to the great de­mand for gold, ac­cord­ing to gold­smiths, ev­ery month ap­prox­i­mately four to five tons of gold come into Kur­dis­tan mostly from Dubai. Am­jad Burhan, who owns a jew­elry store in Er­bil's Qais­ari Mar­ket, said "More than 90 per­cent of our cus­tomers are women, and I have learned to bring what women nowa­days like." When asked what women usu­ally like, he re­veals, "What is worn by drama ac­tresses and is shown on TV is liked by women here."

As for his reg­u­lar cus- tomers, Burhan says many women can­not make up their minds. "You make her happy then she changes her mind again. If she takes some­thing home and a friend of a friend says it is not nice, then a few days later she brings it back and ex­changes it for some­thing else."

Gold is im­ported to Kur­dis­tan Re­gion mostly from Dubai, Turkey, Syria and In­dia. There are also 15 fac­to­ries in the Re­gion that pro­duce gold in styles that mimic those of Dubai and Turkey.

A fe­male taxi driver fetches a pas­sen­ger in Er­bil.

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