Asos Najib Abdullah: an exemplary KRG minister

By Mufid Abdulla:

Asos Najib Abdullah

Asos Najib Abdullah

Not many ministers in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) perform their jobs adequately and efficiently. KRG ministers seldom have academic backgrounds or salutary track records of avoiding corruption and not using their posts for personal gain.

However one hard-working minister has broken the mould by operating on her own initiative and not being a tool of party politics: Ms Asos Najib Abdullah, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

Ms Abdullah’s department has launched several reform projects such as introducing basic allowances for disabled Kurds and providing micro credits to small businesses and newly-graduated students. The minister is working on several fronts to enhance Kurdish society.  Yesterday in Erbil, for example, she visited some nurseries for young children and ordered that several be closed because of their poor conditions. She is also trying to initiate legislation to improve the lives of the elderly. Hardly a day passes without her paying a visit to some project or location in Kurdistan.

According to the official KRG website, she has one of the biggest departments covering most of the region and benefiting the most deprived people.

Ms Asos Najib Abdullah was appointed the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in the sixth KRG cabinet in October 2009, following the July 2009 Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections. She was reappointed to the seventh cabinet on 5 April 2012.  When there were rumours of a departmental reshuffle, many disabled and dispossessed people backed a successful petition calling on the government to keep Asos in her post.

Previously Ms Abdullah was a judge and a member of the public prosecution in the Court of Suleimaniah. Born in Duzkhurmatu in 1974, she graduated in 1995 as one of the top students in her class from Salahaddin University’s College of Law. She also has a Master’s degree in public law. In 1995 she worked in the organisational offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and she has participated in the Women in Leadership conference. She is married and has two children.

This minister deserves greater support from the government. She should be enabled to go and review established welfare programmes in parts of Europe and to study the most recent international policies and research on social affairs and youth development.

Ms Abdullah’s professionalism and dedication is a ray of light in the corrupt darkness of the KRG.  We need a prime minster like her: Why can’t we have a woman prime minister for Kurdistan?

Copyright © 2012

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