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    Women of Hawijah meet to express concerns

    Women of Hawijah Meet to Express Concerns

    Photo By Spc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile | Staff Sgt. Vittoria Mejia, a senior medic with the Headquarters and Headquarters...... read more read more

    KIRKUK, Iraq -- Women of all ages gathered downstairs in the Hawijah Government Building, to hold a meeting they had been looking forward to for weeks. This was the day that a senior medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and a foreign affairs officer with the Department of State were coming to their meeting, near Kirkuk, Iraq, March 24.

    Erin Eddy, a foreign affairs officer that has been in the Kirkuk area for a month, arranged this meeting with Fowzeanwer Ali, leader for the Hawijah Women's and Orphan's group, to have an opportunity to talk about Women's History Month, the elections and jobs for women in the area.

    Eddy brought with her Staff Sgt. Vittoria Mejia, a senior medic with the Ready First Combat Team, an El Paso, Texas, native, to talk with the women about various medical issues, the hospitals capabilities and ways to help them with their issues.

    As soon as the meeting began the questions about Women's History in the U.S. began pouring in, said Mejia.

    "It was truly incredible the questions they were asking and how much they wanted to know about our role in the government," she added.

    The women also proudly discussed the elections that occurred on March 7, which all 40 women in the room said they participated in.

    One woman spoke about why she believed the women in the area went to vote.

    "We voted because we want the best government for the community and for the women in the community, we are half the population and need leadership to represent us," she said.

    Another topic discussed was women's history in the workforce.

    Only one woman in the room currently had a job. However, everyone in the room needed one, since most of them were widows, to support their families.

    During the medical portion of the meeting the women were able to express their concerns about the hospitals and health care available in Hawijah.

    The main problem for the women here is the ability to pay for doctors visits, said one of the women. Many of the women in the area are widows and are not able to work because of their children.

    Another problem for the women is the lack of female doctors in the area, she continued.

    To help the women with these two concerns Eddy is planning on setting up basic medical classes, with instructors coming from the Ready First Combat Team.

    With these classes the women will be able to provide self-care to themselves and their children and also assist other women with treatment.

    Eddy assured the women that all the assistance would not just be coming for the U.S. military but that they also needed to have faith in their government.

    "Now that you have a new government, the leaders will start working on the needs of the community," she said. "Just give them time."



    Date Taken: 04.01.2010
    Date Posted: 04.01.2010 06:10
    Story ID: 47520
    Location: KIRKUK, IQ 

    Web Views: 328
    Downloads: 286
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