Underage and Trapped: Female Iraqi Factory Workers

“The biggest mistake of my life was not attending school,” she said. She married a man 20 years her senior who accused her of being involved with another man, which led to their divorce.

In general, girls often become the victim of rumors that affects their reputation, according to social researcher Sakinah Daoud, who told Al-Monitor, “The future of young working girls remains uncertain until they get married. In case they do not, they risk [getting involved] in prostitution and the sex trade.”

Suheila Abbas, a member of the council of Babil, told Al-Monitor: “The solution to this phenomenon is to create a social protection network, which prevents child labor as well as the labor of young girls, in addition to establishing laws that penalize illegal employment.”

This first step, Abbas said, “Is to create job opportunities under the auspices of the government, while simultaneously launching civil society initiatives to provide medical care and proper education for all segments of society, especially women and children who are forced to work.”

(Child exploitation image via Shutterstock)

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