Iraq's state minister for women's affairs has quit to protest a lack of resources for a daunting task—improving the lives of "a full army of widows" and other women left poor or abandoned by war. Nawal al-Samarraie told the AP how her office's budget was so tight that she often found herself dipping into her own pockets for the women who came begging for help.
She said she finally submitted her resignation last week in part because her budget was slashed from $7,500 to $1,500 per month, part of overall government spending cuts forced by plunging oil prices. The figure didn't include staff salaries. "I reached to the point that I will never be able to help the women," al-Samarraie said. "The budget is very limited ... so what can I do?"