Wednesday, 23 November 2016 11:21

UN Women Iraq on the frontline to feature Voices for Dignity in our Humanity: The Reality of Leaders and Educated Women & Girls fleeing Mosul

UN Women distribute necessity kits to Women and Girl IDPs from Mosul. UN Women distribute necessity kits to Women and Girl IDPs from Mosul. UNAMI PIO/ Nafea Azeez

23rd November 2016 – Erbil – On a UN Women emergency mission near eastern Mosul, the destruction of the war against ISIL was evident through numerous destroyed homes, shops, and deserted land for what used to be a thriving community filled with livelihood activities.

  • Destruction of homes near Mosul due to war on ISIL. UN Women/ Bernice B. Rumala

To date, 59,000 individuals have been displaced with an anticipated 1.2 million expected as the operations continue. Given that an estimated half of the current and anticipated IDPs from the Mosul operations are women, girls, and female-headed households, UN Women has been catering to the urgent necessity needs of women and girls fleeing from Mosul, who often are survivors of sexual abuse, forced child marriages and other human rights abuses.

  • UN Women distribute necessity kits to Women and Girl IDPs from Mosul. UNAMI/Nafea Azeez

With generous support from UN Women Headquarters (Swedish International Development Agency funds), the UN Women team went near the frontlines to distribute urgent necessity kits to 144 families who have recently fled the Mosul conflict. This urgent mission is also a continuation of providing a voice for dignity of women and girls who have been silenced and restricted to their homes for more than two years due to ISIL rule in Mosul. During this mission, a College Professor and three university students who have recently fled Mosul shared their experiences as part of the voices for dignity series.

Dr. Hadeel, a College Professor, mentioned that “I was a college professor in Mosul helping to educate the young minds of tomorrow, but when ISIL came everything changed”. She further mentions “I teach my students freedom of thought but during ISIL occupation, I was not free to express ideas and I was not free to leave my house for two years”. Also standing with Dr. Hadeel were three female university students: Ms. Kawther, 20; Ms. Saja, 22; Ms. Basma, 23. Prior to ISIL occupation of Mosul, Ms. Kawther was in her 2nd year of university studying agricultural science, Ms. Saja was in her 3rd year studying linguistics, and, Ms. Basma was in her final year studying education to become a Professor similar to Dr. Hadeel. They all resounded anger of having their career and educational future interrupted. Many others shared that it is not only the education of promising women and girls that have been interrupted but also aspiring women and girl leaders who can provide needed women’s political participation in le
adership to contribute to peace, security and unity within Iraq. They recounted how a list of female parliamentarian candidates were provided to ISIL in Mosul and many were executed in public.

The professor and students all wanted to share with the world that there are no rights for women under ISIL occupation. They further mentioned their desire to return to a better Mosul and contribute their talents.

  • Many educated Women IDPs whose education and careers were interrupted due to ISIL occupation. UNAMI/Nafea Azeez

Dr. Paulina Chiwangu, UN Women Deputy Country Representative, states, “UN Women has been advocating for the inclusion of women’s leadership and political participation in peace and security through the Women, Peace, and Security program in an effort to counter violent extremism”. She further states that “UN Women works to ensure that every woman and girl can lead productive and empowered lives”.

To aid internally displaced women in sharing their voice as transformative agents of change for their communities, UN Women will continue sharing their voices through its ongoing “Voices for Dignity” series and will establish multipurpose listening centers in IDP camps and host communities. The need for more multipurpose listening centers for victims of Mosul is dire and therefore additional donor support is desperately needed.

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

For media inquiries, please contact Dr. Bernice B. Rumala at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Additional Info

  • Agency: UNWomen
Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 12:32

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