EmpowHer: From Technology to Women’s Empowerment in Iraq

Written by Warqaa Lowi

From defying adversities to success, Avin Qadir is a tech entrepreneur and the co-founder of Click Iraq who shared her story to tell her struggles and challenges as a Kurdish woman. Her aim was to EmpowHer and support all Iraqi/Kurdish women to surpass and eliminate any obstacles as they hone their skills in different avenues and directions.

Organised by the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Berlin, Germany, on the 5th of March 2024, the event was dedicated to celebrating International Women’s Day.

In a predominantly male-dominated tech industry in the Arab-Kurdish world, being a woman leading in the tech sector is “neither common nor easy,” Avin explains. At the event, she unveiled the secret to this success, attributing it to a combination of tools and supportive human resources that helped bring the company’s vision to life.

While unraveling her journey and responsibilities in the tech industry, she discovered a gap in digital literacy which with EDF and IOM’s support, a solution was feasible leading to human investment:

Yes, my partner and I have dedicated our time to sustain our businesses, to convert our entrepreneurial mindset into actions… yet to grow bigger you need others to motivate you, support you, direct you

Avin Qadir, Co-founder of Click Iraq

The support and guidance from IOM, EDF, KFW, and BMZ were instrumental in driving progress. Following the support received for ClickEd (a platform for learning digital technology), Avin announced the launch of two products that transformed the landscape in Iraq. The first, Job Studio, provides a platform for Iraqi freelancers to access job opportunities, while the second, Next Step, serves as an academic platform connecting students with universities in Iraq.

 With more than 400 opportunities provided by Click Iraq, ClickED offered training for more than 250 youth and women. Job Studio has 8000 freelancers with more than 300 companies, and Next Step gained more than 3200 students who were able to reach better training, scholarships, and all of their educational necessities. 

In women’s empowerment, Avin addressed the great mindsets and potentials that Iraq and Kurdistan have and encouraged to invest in women’s education for greater and better generations as she wrapped up her speech celebrating Women’s Day by saying: 

Roji jihani zhnan piroza

(English: Happy International women’s Day)

Avin Qadir, Co-founder of Click Iraq

Iraqi and Kurdish women are full of potential as they shine in all avenues despite all the unaddressed dilemmas or unsaid quandaries. Success is the fruit of one’s “inner conviction, self-education, and financial liberation”, Avin says. 

 In her closing remarks, Avin left the audience with a powerful message that resonated deeply with the EmpowHer exhibition. She spoke passionately about the opportunities ahead and how this stands as a beacon of hope for women all around the world. Avin emphasised the importance of providing women with access to tech education and the need to empower them as leaders. Her speech was truly inspiring and left everyone feeling motivated and empowered.

Video of the speech
#EmpowHer Enterprise Development Fund and International Organization for Migration – Berlin 05 March

Contributing Writer

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