Before 2003 Iraq was isolated from the world. The country possessed little knowledge of a democratic system, a functioning civil society, a multi-party political system or human rights, especially as they applied to women. As a lecturer at a large university in Iraq, I was speaking with young people every day who expressed their eagerness for freedom of speech. I kept hoping that we would have all of that one day, and I was looking to learn everything I could about democratic systems and human rights.
Ferdos has bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Baghdad University and worked as a lecturer on data analysis at Al Mustansiriya University from 1996 to 2005. She joined the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in 2005 as part of the Governance team working in the Green Z. While at NDI Ferdos worked on capacity building trainings for Members of Parliament, constitution drafting processes, and women’s political participation. In particular, her work on women’s political participation included strengthening women’s coalitions in political parties, building the women’s caucus in Parliament, and organizing advocacy campaigns with civil society organizations and political parties in Iraq. Ferdos continues to work with women’s NGOs in Iraq by volunteering and providing training on effective program strategies.