Single Women in Erbil A qualitative study on the reasons and obstacles behind Women staying single in Erbil city

  • Muzhda Mohammed Azeez Social Work Department - College of Arts / Salahaddin University-Erbil
Keywords: Single Women, Marriage, Society, Expectations


The subject of single women is a contentious topic in Erbil society. Being professionally successful is often sufficient motivation for a woman to remain single. Women enjoy the competitive process of advancing to executive positions at work and find it extremely satisfying. There are many unmarried women in Erbil for many reasons.

It has been noticed through observation and social relationships that the rate of single women is increasing for many reasons. According to a report published on Rudaw site in 2015 the rate of unmarried women in Iraq (including Kurdistan) reached 85%, while The Iraqi Ministry of Planning announced on Mawazin news site in 2018 that the rate of women (ages between 15-49) who feel safe alone and do not get married early is 85% in Kurdistan to 60% in central and southern Iraq. Some of the women refuse to get married because they want to develop their education level and have a successful career. Those women believe that marriage will prevent them from traveling abroad in order to develop their knowledge, skills, and may will not be able to work in different institutions if they get married especially in Erbil subculture which some traditional men do not always allow their daughters, sisters or wives to travel alone and leave their families behind. In addition, it will be difficult for women to leave their children alone, because most of the women sacrifice the personal desire for the sake of their family.

While other single women do not get married, because of some domestic problems, especially in tribal families when the family does not accept that their daughter marries a man who does not belong to the same tribe. Other families demand dowry such as a big amount of money and an expensive house that cannot be afforded by the grooms. Moreover, the financial reason when the woman works and gets a salary and the family depends on her financially.

The researcher has found out the social, economic, and education issues that are behind women remaining single. In order to get a good result, the researcher used qualitative methodology and interviewed 20 single women in Erbil society from different social, economic, and educational backgrounds. In-depth interviewing helped her to get good information and be able to communicate with them personally; those women have been asked previously prepared questions (semi-structured interviewing). The ages of the women are between 25 - 40 years old and they are working at universities, governmental institutions, and Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs).


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How to Cite
Azeez M. Single Women in Erbil A qualitative study on the reasons and obstacles behind Women staying single in Erbil city. JAHS [Internet]. 20Nov.2021 [cited 6Jul.2022];25(5):292 -303. Available from: