For the ladies!

Dear Loyal Blog Reader,

So often women ask about life in Kurdistan as a female: What to do? Where to go? Can I walk alone? Can I go for a run? Can I go to the gym? Can I take a taxi?

The answer is always yes, but there is always a big fat BUT. You can, but if you want to be comfortable dress modestly; You can, but you need to know where to go and when to go; You can, but you need to be aware of the right places!

For example, you certainly won’t be comfortable in your running shoes going for a job in any random neighborhood you choose to. Having said this, there are certain places where you can do this and it would not be a problem at all (I have seen many woman go for a job alone in Naz City for instances).

On one of the previous entries I posted a link of the Women’s International Nework Erbil group, not too long ago one of the ladies asked a question, the expats here gave her various replies. I thought I would share this with you, to give you more of an insight! Names and DPs are all deleted.

Hello Ladies, what are the general difficulties you face here? Do you all lead a pretty normal life or is it full of restrictions? Are you always careful and alerted or just normal like you would be in any country? Thank you

  • Well, this is a tough one, and maybe I am not answering to the point your looking at. I have lived in a few Western countries plus recently Kazakhstan, but this area is a first for me. I do not feel threatened here – but it still annoys me being stared at. I also miss the fact that there aren’t more women around when you go somewhere. And being truly German, I miss my sidewalks and the possibility to walk to places which are within a 30 min walking radius.
  •  I’m very relaxed here even more so than I was in the uk. I have never felt in any danger. Yes I get stared at but not to the point some women report- then again I do not frequent night clubs or anywhere like that.
  •  Well if you have peroxide blonde hair like me ofcourse I will be stared at but I don’t notice it as much now I just play ignorant to it. It’s no big deal.
  • Well at that point i love it here minus missing the cultural life. Anything else is ok for me. I feel safer then in Russia , that for sure))
  •  I feel safe here. Used to stares. They stares as much at us as we do at them.
  •  I work full time and will take taxis alone. Never had a problem I speak very basic Kurdish.
  • We came to live in erbil since 2011 used to live in london , i work in XX university comparing life here to london is a big difference but what i like here life is more relaxed my kids are happy here we meet friends every weekend i am iraqi from baghdad i take taxi every day back from work its a matter of luck some are chatty and want to know ur life here and some keep silent but for the long run i dont want my kids to grow here maybe until they are 10 , 11 years old

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