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Iraqi women's minister withdraws resignation

Nawal Samarai had resigned last month to protest a lack of resources, but changes her mind when aid organizations pledge assistance.

March 10, 2009|Associated Press

BAGHDAD — Iraq's minister of state for women's affairs said Monday that she planned to withdraw her resignation after receiving pledges from aid organizations to help women.

Nawal Samarai quit last month to protest the lack of resources for women, accusing the government of not making their needs a priority.

But the Sunni Arab activist decided to return to her job after getting pledges for funds and support from international aid organizations. She also said more than 50 Iraqi women had volunteered to help implement the ministry's plans.

"The reason for my resignation was the lack of funds and human resources, but with the new situation I think I can work," she said in a telephone interview.

Samarai said she will present her request to be reinstated today to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's office. The office could not immediately be reached for comment on whether it would accept her request.

Women face overwhelming hardships in Iraq, with tens of thousands of them left poor or widowed by war. Oxfam, a British-based charity, said Sunday that the situation has only worsened for many since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, despite the security gains of the last year and a half.

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