Wednesday, 25 October 2017 19:18

On Global Open Day on UNSCR 1325, Calls for Greater Women Role in Future of post-Daesh Iraq

Baghdad/Erbil – The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), jointly with UNWOMEN within the context of the observing the Global Open Day and the 17th Anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325, held consultative forums with senior political leadership in Baghdad and Erbil on 23 and 24 October 2017, with the focus on strengthening women’s political participation.

In both Baghdad and Erbil, the concerns of women, their participation in society, the political process and decision-making were raised. Participants were categorical in stating that there have been long-standing barriers which have continued to impede women’s participation and representation in the political process. Particularly, participants noted a regression in women’s representation in executive, legislative as well as judiciary branches of government. Further, participants decried that leaderships of political parties have not given sufficient opportunities to women to fully and equally participate in politics. Recommendations were proposed, including a specific request made to the political leaders to give women an opportunity to be part of the solution. Participants also called for legislation to promote and increase women’s participation in politics and governance as well as to promote them to decision-making positions.

In Baghdad, the meeting on 23 October was organized in collaboration with the Implementation and Follow-up Commission for National Reconciliation in the Office of the Prime Minister. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Health and Environment, H.E. Adila Hammoud, Adviser to the Prime Minister on reconciliation, Mr. Mohammed Salman, the Speaker of Parliament’s representative Dr. Ahmed Rushdy, Advisor to the President of the Republic, Juan Masoum, heads of political blocs and other government representatives, parliamentary Committee heads, MPs as well as academics, in addition to representatives of UNAMI and UNWOMEN.

H.E. Ms. Adila Hammoud, the Minister of Health and Environment, stated that to overcome social barriers and challenges impeding women’s participation required a concerted effort and commitment from political leaders and decision-makers, noting “the significant successes of many Iraqi women on the executive and legislative levels and their ability to play an essential role in peace making and societal reconciliation.”

Mr. Mohammad Salman of the reconciliation committee, in his opening remarks, said the meeting is a “golden opportunity for all to benefit from the accumulated experiences of peoples” that the UN holds as it works to support women issues.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, emphasized in his remarks at the meetings in Baghdad and Erbil that women in Iraq are agents of positive change and they must be given the opportunity to act in that critical role in shaping the future of their country in the post-Daesh period.

“Equality and empowerment of women must be central to all peace, justice, reconciliation and reform efforts in the post-Daesh period. Women’s participation is crucial for an effective, successful and sustainable peace processes and reform. Only through their direct and meaningful participation their voices will be heard,” Mr. Kubiš said.

The consultative meeting in Erbil was convened on 24 October by UNAMI in collaboration with UN WOMEN and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s High Council for Women Affairs. It was attended by Interior Minister H.E. Mr. Karim Sinjari, Minister of the Department of Foreign Relations H.E. Mr. Falah Al-Mustafa, Secretary-General of the High Council for Women’s Affairs Ms. Pakhshan Zangana, Spokesperson to Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Safeen Dizayi, and women leaders, in addition to representatives of UNAMI and UN WOMEN.

In remarks at the Erbil meeting, Ms. Pakshan Zangana, the Secretary-General of the High Council for Women’s Affairs in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, said the recent crisis in Kirkuk have seen displacements of civilians including women, the elderly and children. She urged the UN to strengthen its efforts towards addressing the needs to those displaced.

In Erbil, Mr. Kubiš acknowledged the efforts of the Cross-Sector Task Force on the implementation of the Iraq National Action Plan on 1325. “Regardless of all issues between Baghdad and Erbil, the collaboration of women group representatives from both Baghdad and Erbil has been remarkable. It is a good model of constructive cooperation that should inspire also the process of finding solutions to the current crisis between Baghdad and Erbil. Women must play a key role also in these endeavors.”

The SRSG recalled the particularly brutal treatment of women and girls by Daesh terrorists and pointed out to UN Security Council resolution 2379, passed in September to establish an investigative team to support domestic efforts to hold Daesh accountable.

UN WOMEN Representative in Iraq, Ms. Dina Zorba, in both meetings in Baghdad and Erbil, commended the government, civil society, and national and international partners for continued commitment to UNSCR 1325, stating that Iraq is the first country in the Middle East to launch a national plan to implement 1325. She urged the government to work to ensure gender issues are incorporated in all democratization and nation building agendas, and called on the UN, the government, and the International Community to continue to advocate for and protect the rights of women and girls.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or the UNAMI Public Information Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Dina Zorba
UN Women Representative in Iraq
Phone: +964 770 192 9401, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI, UNWomen

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