Female academics’ research capacities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq: socio-cultural issues, personal factors and institutional practices

Rachel Masika, Gina Wisker, Lanja Dabbagh, Kawther Jameel Akreyi, Hediyeh Golmohamad, Lone Bendixen, Kirstin Crawford

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In October 2010, an interdisciplinary group of female academics from a university in the Kurdistan region of Iraq initiated a collaborative research project with a UK university to investigate opportunities and challenges for female academics' research leadership in universities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The project aimed to develop female academics' research capacities using action learning and research principles, in order to focus on issues of concern to practitioners, seek understanding, reflect on activities and enhance them through needs identification-solution-reflection cycles and collaboratively seek solutions. The research uncovered socially constructed barriers to advancement shaped by socio-cultural issues and institutional practices, found exemplars of successful female academics and strengthened participants' research leadership capacities. We conclude that the expansion of female academics' capacities should be prioritised in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to harness their contributions to nation-building and economic development, goals that are explicitly emphasised in higher education policy statements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-69
Number of pages18
JournalGender and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2014


  • development studies
  • femininities
  • women
  • qualitative interviews
  • higher education
  • Middle East

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