Trainings to hone Iraqi women's leadership, communications and advocacy skills

Baghdad, 07 November 2020 – The last of a series of workshops held across Iraq and intended to strengthen the political and public roles of women concluded in Baghdad today.

The closing workshop in Baghdad provided training for women in the areas of leadership, communications and advocacy, one of the recommendations of a research study on the needs and challenges of Iraqi women running for elected public office that was launched on the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 on 31 October.

Organized by Iraq Foundation and supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), with the workshops held over the last two months in Baghdad, Diwaniya, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, Basra, Najaf and Ninewa brought together 67 women aged 25 to 35 to discuss how best to advance their careers in public office.

“I hope that by the end of this four-day training, you will have been better equipped to transform your leadership potential into tangible skills that will, insha’a Allah, help enable you to enter political office or any other formal public space as agents of positive change for the futures,” Ms. Alice Walpole, Deputy Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General, said in remarks at the Baghdad workshop.

Ms. Rend al Rahim, a former Iraqi ambassador to the United States and President of Iraq Foundation, which along with UNAMI and UN ESCWA commissioned the research study, noted that “the training responds to the need, identified by the research study, to enhance the skills and capabilities of young women to take a leadership role in public life and in the political arena.”

Also present at the Baghdad workshop was Dr. Yousra Kareem Mohsen, Acting Director-General, Women Empowerment Directorate.

Rana, one of the participants in Baghdad, underlined the importance of the timing of the exercise as the country prepares for early elections scheduled for June 2021, as well as its technical benefits and its valuable boost to self-confidence. “Participation [in public life] is not impossible because I am young and I have political ambition.”

Speaking at the Diwaniyah workshop, Abeer said the workshop was an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, gather new information and experiences in light of the current circumstances and the great challenges facing women. “The lack of training and activities in the governorates affected us negatively. This training brought back hope to our souls.”

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