“Iraqi Women as Peacebuilders” Committees Activate Landmark Consensus on Women’s Agenda

22 Jun, 2012 | Press Releases

Baghdad, 22 June 2012

In a historic move, five committees representing parliamentarians, activists, ministry officials, academics, judges and experts have reached consensus and developed targeted recommendations to advance the role of women in Iraq.

Since February 2011, participants in the round table series on the Role of Women, Peace, Reconciliation, and Accountability in Iraq have worked to identify priorities from among the 64 recommendations put forward at an Irbil conference that convened several hundred women leaders in 2011. While several initiatives from the Erbil conference have been implemented, in April, participants organized into five committees to identify specific needs, challenges, and concrete recommendations.  Meetings since February have convened at The Council of Representatives, Baghdad’s Oil Cultural Center, and Safia Al Zuhail’s Cultural Salon in Baghdad. The resulting options papers represent a major step forward for women’s empowerment and gender equality in Iraq.

The five recommendation papers focus on:
1.       The Role of Women in Political Leadership and Reconciliation;
2.       Building Social, Economic, and Health Security;
3.      Reviewing and Reforming Existing Legislation;
4.      Building a Strong Educational System and Reforming Curricula; and
5.      Fostering a Powerful Voice for Women in the Media.

Bakhtiar Amin, founder of the International Alliance for Justice and one of the Series’ organizers, stated that “participants have worked across parties and sectors to activate the first priorities from the Erbil Recommendations. This is a major achievement.” Similarly, William Spencer, Executive Director from the Institute for International Law and Human Rights, observed “the Series has not just moved the Erbil Recommendations forward, but has built bridges across sectors to strengthen and empower the women’s movement.” Niccolo Figa Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice added that “the time for women and men to advance gender is now.” The Round Table Series has been supported by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

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