Supporting Feminist Activism and Increasing Women’s
In Iraq, long-standing challenges – including ongoing civil conflicts, violence, corruption, the growing presence of armed groups, and a loss of public confidence in the political process – have eroded state institutions and led to a situation in which the rights of Iraqi women are constantly under threat. At the same time, women continue to be excluded from active participation in public life.
These challenges are evident in the low representation of women in decision-making spaces and conflict resolution, as well as growing rates of early and forced marriage and sexual and gender-based violence, widespread illiteracy among women and girls, increasing numbers of internally displaced women, and the absence of basic health services and social and legal protection.Together with our partners in Baghdad and Kurdistan, WILPF is working on developing feminist approaches to security, peace, and gender justice in Iraq, including through increasing women’s meaningful participation in decision and peace-making processes at the local and international levels.
“Working together gives us real strength. It gives us a louder voice in demanding our rights and helps us achieve real justice.”
Coordinator of Iraqi Women’s Network
WILPF works jointly with the Iraqi Women Network (IWN) and Asuda for Combating Violence Against Women Organisation, in Iraq and Kurdish region, respectively, in order to develop feminist activism and increase women’s meaningful political, economic, and social participation.
Iraqi Women Bring the Country Closer to Peace
A delegation representing the Iraqi Women’s Network attended the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) session in October 2019 and briefed the UN Committee on the CEDAW shadow report submitted at the end of September the same year.
In this report, which resulted from a collaboration with more than 100 local organisations, IWN raised issues on women’s rights violations in Iraq and asked the committee to put pressure on the Iraqi government to commit to its obligations towards women’s rights.Read this interview with Amal Kabashi – Coordinator of the Iraqi Women’s Network – to learn more about IWN and the situation in Iraq.
IWN Baghdad Regional Forum for Developing Institutional Mechanisms for Women’s Advancement
In August 2019, the Iraqi Women’s Network (IWN), with the support of WILPF, held their first ever Baghdad Regional Forum for Developing Institutional Mechanisms for Women’s Advancement.
The forum gathered widespread attendance from Iraqi representatives of governments and civil society from across the region, as well as a number of regional and international organisations.
It was an opportunity for information sharing and consultation amongst civil society organisations (CSOs) about their countries’ national institutional mechanisms for women’s advancement across the MENA region.
The forum also aimed to mobilise collective efforts for the creation of an independent national machinery seeking to address women’s issues and empowerment in Iraq. As a result of the forum, IWN was able to secure buy-in from the Iraqi government to form the National Council for Women and submitted a project to create a Ministry of State for Women Affairs headed by a feminist figure.
Read the final statement and recommendations of the forum.
Gender Equality, Peace, and Security in Post-COVID-19 Iraq
As part of its membership in the Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) network, WILPF closely coordinated with its Iraq-based partners to provide in-depth gender-conflict analysis that would help the international community and governments develop short and long-term programmes and response frameworks to address the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19.The analysis, entitled Now and the Future Gender Equality, Peace and Security in a COVID-19 World, offers insights into how the pandemic is impacting conflict dynamics, which are themselves gendered.
Militarised Counter Terrorism and its Impact on Human Rights in Mosul, Iraq
In August 2019, WILPF and Asuda published a report titled: We Are Still Here: Mosulite Women 500 Days After the Conclusion of the Coalition Military Operation.
The report showcases how security measures adopted in Mosul, in Northern Iraq, disregard the human rights of the local civilian population, undermine local peacebuilding approaches, and inflict disproportionate impacts on Iraqi women and girls.
The report was a response to the military operation “We Are Coming” that announced the storming of Mosul in 2016.