“I want the entire world to know what an Iraqi woman can do. I trust that I will change my life to be better than before.”
Nazahat, a mother of five living in Baghdad, is one of Prosperity Candle’s very first entrepreneurs. As a field tester, Nazahat created pillar candles and trained other women in the art of candle-making.
During our pilot programme, Nazahat earned the equivalent of 3.5 times the minimum wage in Iraq, producing over 250 candles in just a few weeks.
Nazahat is a beautiful inspiration to us, an entrepreneur driven by love for her family. Her drive and spirit encapsulate the very core of our vision: to provide women with the opportunity to truly thrive.
Prosperity Candle works together with Women for Women International in Iraq. To find out more, go to www.womenforwomen.org , www.prosperitycandle.com
In the News
Women have the potential to change their own economic status, as well as that of the communities and countries in which they live. Economic development efforts to combat poverty can only succeed if women are part of the solution. Achieving this yields a double dividend: when women are economically empowered, they raise healthier, better-educated families.
Many studies have also proven the links between the reduction of domestic violence and economic empowerment. However, NGOs such as Bent Alrafedain (BROB), make direct support their primary purpose. While delighted with the 2012 bill passed by the Babel Provincial Council, which helps women protect themselves and their children from domestic violence, Alyaa Al Ansari, the chair of BROB, is now calling for a Unit of Domestic Violence to be set up outside the Department of Gender, so that this law can get the status it deserves.
Reducing levels of domestic violence creates opportunities for female economic empowerment, which in turn builds self-confidence and further lowers levels of violence. Nina applauds this virtuous circle. To get in touch with Bent Alrafedain, go to www.brob.org
Inclusion -Delivering Better Business
The Inclusion Imperative, the new book by diversity and inclusion expert Stephen Frost, showcases the inspiring commitment to inclusion adopted by the London Olympic and Paralympic Games’ organizing committee.
Focusing on gender and disability, it is a must-have for every growing business. It details the techniques and frameworks that enabled it to truly deliver a ‘Games for Everyone’ at London 2012. The Inclusion Imperative convinces even sceptics that real diversity and inclusion can result in more engaged employees and customers, improved employee recruitment and retention, increased productivity and better group decision-making processes. We have three copies to give away. All we need from you is 20 words as to why you would like a copy, sent to [email protected] , citing ‘book competition’. Please note, the editors decision is final and there are no cash alternatives.
You can also purchase The Inclusion Imperative at www.kooganpage.com , with a great exclusive Nina 20% discount and free postage and packing (excluding USA). Just input INCLUSNINA discount code when prompted.
Microsoft – supporting Aspiring Women!
The Aspire Women initiative (www.aspirewoman.com) aims to support young Middle Eastern and African women in realising their full potential. As a web-based forum, Aspire Women is looking to create opportunities for young women around the following three pillars:
1. Creating Young Women Leaders: Our objective is to increase the participation of young women in leadership positions
2. Economic Empowerment (Employability and Entrepreneurship): We aim to foster the growth of young female entrepreneurs, reduce unemployment of young women graduates, by bridging the gap between formal education and job market needs
3. Civic Participation (Women volunteerism and women rights): We aim to encourage female civic participation by engaging, supporting and helping women gain awareness of local and national issues
www.aspirewoman.com and Nina will be collaborating in a variety of ways, so watch this space!
What’s in A Name?
Nina is one of the names of Goddess “Inana”, representing fertility, beauty and love to the ancient people of Mesopotamia. The Goddess appeared for the first time in the lands of “Sumer” 5,000 years ago. She was symbolized in cuneiform writing by an octagon star that referred to the planet Venus. The Sumerians called her “Aynata”.
In those ancient times, society was matriarchal. This reflected the fact that survival depended on two main pillars; food and reproduction. Women’s physical bodies were seen as symbols of these needs, with the religious power of a strong female leader filtering through into all aspects of society – including the political and economic spheres. The Goddess “Aynata” represented fertility and love together. She also came to symbolize the desire of communication between man and woman; from her body, a new life arises.
Her godhead has been given many names over time, some of which you might recognise – Ishtar and Ashtarut, Easter or Eostre, as well as Venus and Aphrodite. To the people of the Levant, Inana transformed into Nina – and that’s how we know her today.
Our thanks to Hayder Al-Fayhan for uncovering the ancient story of Nina.
And finally – a Teacher’s Tale…
Did you know that if a teacher is part of a new enterprise, it is 3 times more likely to succeed?
Nina source: Richard Taylor, venture capitalist (ed-invent.com).
However, you can combine both business and teaching… www.udemy.com is a web platform that allows anyone to host and take online classes, this morning announced that its top ten instructors earned a combined $1.6 million over the last 12 months.
Of the top ten, all made over $50K in the last year, with the highest earner at over $200K. Udemy courses focus on everything from design and corporate training to Arabic. Udemy offers courses for free, or for $20 or $250 a pop, and delivering teachers take 30% of those fees where applicable. As Udemy is available to all teachers, and has content on most subjects, there’s a lot of potential, and based just on the platform’s top earners, the startup is making money.
Arabalicious.com offers some great resources for teachers and students of all ages in Arabic and English, but is a free resource at the moment.