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Summer is not a synonym for holidays, at least not for the group of women leaders and MPs from the Women for Lasting Peace Initiative that met with UN representatives in Baghdad on 17 July 2013.

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  • Agency UNAMI

By Fabienne Vinet, PIO, UNAMI

Being a journalist in Iraq is still often a challenge, but being a woman journalist in Iraq is even more difficult. Under-represented, often underestimated and poorly equipped, the route is not easy for the women who hope to work in media.

“Turning your hobby into your work is one of the best things that can happen in life,” said Mr. Idriss Najehl, a beekeeper from Abu Khanazeer village in the province of Diyala.

Around 1.5 million people in Iraq are refugees or internally displaced people, women, men and children who struggle every day to meet their basic needs and access essential services. While finding shelter and ensuring food for these people are obvious immediate priorities, education should be part of the emergency response as well as of long-term plans.

The number of informal settlements in Baghdad is increasing, and the Baghdad Provincial Council estimates that there are more than 220 settlements today. Government officials say this problem did not exist in the city before 2003 and that it was aggravated by the sectarian violence of 2006.

“The current security situation in Syria, along with the desire to protect my children, forced me to leave my home,” said Samira, a middle-aged Syrian mother who fled home with her four children months ago.

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  • Agency WHO

The bombing of the Al-Askari Shrine in Samarra in February 2006 led to an escalation in sectarian violence which forced millions of Iraqis out of their homes in the months and years that followed.  Many sought refuge abroad, but large numbers of individuals also became internally displaced within Iraq, joining the many others who had left their homes during previous waves of displacement and forced population movements under the Saddam Hussein regime.

By Fabienne Vinet, PIO, UNAMI

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Iraq conjures up many enduring cultural images: the great lions of Babylon, the Ishtar Gate, and the superb spiral mosque of Samarra are some of the most renowned. These vast archaeological riches, spanning centuries of civilization, are part of the national heritage that is shared by all Iraqis – and part of the patrimony of all humanity.

Baghdad, 9 May 2013 - The UN Iraq congratulates the three winners of the first edition of its contest for Iraqi women journalists. The stories submitted by Suha Audah, Enas Jabbar and Shatha al-Shabibi were selected by the jury as representing best the challenges faced by Iraqi women in their daily lives.

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