Iraq: The difficult path towards democracy and the role of women in social and political life

31 May, 2011 | Press Releases

Iraqi political life has witnessed a dramatic transition from authoritarianism to democracy in the years since the end of Saddam Hussein’s rule in 2003. While the principles of democracy are now firmly entrenched in Iraqi politics—as evidenced by the success of the most recent elections in January 2010—the development of Iraq’s political institutions and civil society is an ongoing process with many challenges yet to overcome.

Political discussions and political campaigning, both in public spaces and in local media, still bear the signs of decades of authoritarian rule and of the sectarian strife that followed. Discussions frequently focus on personality and belonging, with limited space for the free and frank exchange of opinions on policy and other issues of interest to the general public. The opportunities for issue-oriented discussions of this kind are especially limited for marginalised social groups, such as women and religious minorities.

The international non-profit organisation No Peace Without Justice, which since 2006 works in partnership with the Iraqi NGO International Alliance fo Justice and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foster the transition process towards democracy and the rule of law, has launched a project aimed at promoting the role of women in the political and cultural public sphere of Iraq.

The project, carried out in partnership with IAJ, Minerva and Legal Aid Worldwide (LAW), will be presented on Wednesday 1st June at 11 am, during a press conference to be hosted at the headquarter of the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) in Rome (via di Torre Argentina 76, 00186 Rome).

Participants at the press conference will include:

Bakhtiar Amin, former Minister of Human Rights and Executive Director of International Alliance for Justice (Iraq)
Emma Bonino, Vice-President of the Senate and founder of No Peace Without Justice (Italy)
Safia Al-Souhail, Member of the Iraqi Parliament and human rights activist (Iraq)
Marco Pannella, Radical leader and President of the Senate of the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (Italy)
Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice
Stefano Quierolo, Head of Gulf Countries Office, Directorate General for the Countries of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Italy)
Pierluigi Severi, Minerva
Laura Guercio, LAW
Gen. Salvatore Carrara, former Military Advisor of the Task Force Iraq, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Italy)

  • Watch the audio-video recording of the Press Conference on Radio radicale

For further information please contact Sabrina Gasparrini, tel.06.67064685,