When Suha Abdel-Azim, 38, received a letter from her boss saying she had to stop working for security reasons, she couldn't believe it. After three years as an engineer for a local company, she was fired without compensation.
Suha is now unemployed. She has been trying to find a job but as a woman she is finding it difficult.
"When they see my CV [curriculum vitae] they get excited but later they say they cannot employ me because I'm a woman and it could be too dangerous for them. Most of the local construction companies in Iraq now have only men working for them," she said.
For other women in Iraq the problem goes beyond unemployment. With spiralling sectarian violence, they are being forced to marry men from their own sect even if they were in love for years with a man from a different sect.
There are cases of women who are being forced to sign divorce papers after being threatened by their husband's family because they were of a different sect - even if they had been living for years in harmony or if innocent children were involved.