Iraqi Women Trained in Ad Agency Skills

This article was written by Farah Ali, and was originally published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, It is reproduced by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

A five-day course in financial management held at IWPR’s Baghdad office in February was the latest in a series of workshops designed to get more Iraqi women into advertising, design and management.

The February 19-23 course for 16 trainees was part of the Women Advertising and Design Agency project, launched in October 2011. Its ultimate aim is for participants to set up the first independent advertising and media agency that is both run and owned by women.

Previous training events have focused on graphic design, image editing, photography and lighting, direction, and management training. In total, 100 female participants selected from all over Iraq will attend one or several of the modular courses, which will also cover advertising and copywriting.

In turn, each of the group will be able to provide training for other women hoping to break into the advertising sector.

Following the latest training course, which focused on financial management, participants said they came away with valuable new skills.

“This is an amazing course in terms of using the right tools to convey the essentials,” said Elaf Mahdi, a 22-year-old media student, adding that the information packed into five days was equivalent to years of study.

Raya Mufid, 29, has a master’s degree in physics but is currently unemployed, and is now confident her new management skills will help her find a job.

“I used to spend days on end with no goal or target, but now that I have a clear picture of what I want to do, I can set aside time for my family, for myself and for my objectives,” she said.

The course was delivered by Abdullah Hikmat, a leading Iraqi professor of economics and management. He said the trainees’ attitude and passion left him optimistic about their futures.

“All the trainees were positive and responded well,” he said. “They seemed eager to learn new things and acquire extra skills.”

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