By Madeleine White, capacity building and communications specialist.
Nina: The Heart of Enterprise, the Spirit of Iraq - the IBN at the Heart of a Ground-Breaking Women’s Economic Empowerment Project
It is fitting that the first official announcement about Nina is made in the pages of the Iraq Business News. Designed to encourage capacity building and growth, this new magazine and web portal for Iraqi women everywhere is a direct result of a dialogue that started on the IBN’s Education and skills pages last July.
July’s IBN blog Nation Building: Empowering Women in Business and Employment looked at how the messages around inspiring enterprise in Iraqi women, could have a direct impact on already impressive GDP growth figures. Khalid Mahdi, Chair of the Private Sector Development Centre (PSDC), a World Bank funded NGO read it.
As Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is a key objective for the PSDC, he got in touch. The result is project Nina: launch date May ’14, estimated readership 50,000, distribution via print and internet with initial publication in English and Arabic.
Indeed, as you will have read in several blogs I have written since – Women’s Economic Empowerment is now seen a crucial factor globally for driving women to contribute to their own -as well as their family’s - financial security.
The equation is simple, by creating a sustainable source of independent income women gain status. If we have access to a forum that allows us to voice opportunities and ideas this status then allows us to function as catalysts for social and economic change.
Thus the IBN, and now Nina, encourage practical knowledge share and information by offering a meeting place for ideas and so help to create stakeholders prepared to approach things in a new way. This of course then also serves to communicate the remarkable increase in investment in Iraq from around the world.
Nina has been borne from the dialogue for growth the IBN embraces – however, focusing more specifically on how women can participate and contribute within new partnerships and ideas. By linking the diaspora to in country opportunity, Nina models an inclusive approach to entrepreneurship and the labour market.