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Displacement and Women's Economic Empowerment in Iraq

Research Lead: Dr Zeynep N. Kaya
Research Assistant: Kyra Luchtenberg

The ‘Displacement and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Iraq’ project examined the effects of conflict-induced displacement on women’s economic empowerment in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by focusing on their livelihood needs and opportunities. The report  - Displacement and Women's Economic Empowerment: Voices of Displaced Women in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq - provides insights into how displacement has affected the position of women in the economic life of the family and community.The key contribution of the report is that it reflects the voices of displaced women in the KRI. The researh team conducted in-depth interviews with displaced women to understand their perspectives. The report includes their perceptions of the opportunities and obstacles to their engagement in livelihood activities and how they define 'economic empowerment.' 

Read the Executive Summary I Read the Full Report

Project Aims and Value

Beyond advancing academic knowledge in the areas of development and refugee studies, the ‘Displacement and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Iraq’ project sought to impact displaced women’s lives in Iraq by examining the implications of livelihood policies and projects. Livelihood interventions have become a key focus in (non)governmental responses to displacement.

In the context of Iraq, livelihood is placed at the heart of the early recovery and resilience agenda, emphasising the need to provide livelihood opportunities for displaced women, as well as women in host communities, by identifying emergency jobs and employment opportunities. Adopting a gender perspective in relation to long-term responses to displacement, such as livelihood, is essential. The lack of a gender perspective hinders displaced women and excludes them from having a meaningful impact on the design and development of support systems. Yet, displaced women and girls are more likely to experience livelihood deprivation than men. Meaning the impact of displacement on women is disproportionate due to gendered vulnerabilities. 

This project reiterates the importance of addressing the gendered dimensions of conflict-induced displacement and aims to generate impact through engaging non-academic users with academic research, such as relevant policymakers and members of international civil society organisations.


Women for Women International United Kingdom coordinated the project and provides technical input.

Gender Action for Peace and Security provided support in undertaking the project activities and engaging with civil society working on women, peace and security.

Project partners will work in collaboration with the Institute of Regional and International Studies, The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. IRIS-AUIS provide local logistical support for research activities. 


The ‘Displacement and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Iraq' project was run in partnership with Women for Women International UK and Gender Action for Peace and Security.




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Centre for Women, Peace and Security, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE