COVID-19 pandemic should not stand in the way of working women to accomplish any tasks

Rawia Al Azawy – Director General of the Forest and Desertification Control Department, Ministry of Agriculture

Mrs Al Azawy is a real example of a woman who is leading the change in her family, her job and society. In over 20 years of experience at the Ministry of Agriculture in Iraq, Mrs Al Azawy moved up the ranks to become the only woman managing a department at the ministry. In the podcast, she discussed the positive and negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in Iraq.

While family and work have been most affected by the pandemic, Mrs Al Azawy highlighted that COVID-19 had some positive impact by giving us a chance to slow down the pace of life and take some compulsory rest and spend time with family.  

Mrs Al Azawy emphasised the significant role of women at the ministry and how the ministry promotes women's empowerment, for example, by ensuring that women's participation in the design and implementation of projects is not less than 25%. This benefits rural woman, considered amongst the most vulnerable.

One of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is to pay more attention to health security which should stand on an equal footing with food security and water security.