The WPHF is providing support to women’s organizations in Iraq, such as the Women Parliamentary Committee and the Higher Council of Women Affairs, to spearhead peacebuilding interventions and promote wider social cohesion.

The Added Value of the WPHF

In Iraq, the WPHF aims to promote and enhance women’s engagement, leadership, empowerment and participation in decision making to counter violent extremism.

Background

Iraq’s protracted conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has forced nearly 3.3 million people to flee their homes since 2014. More than half the displaced population— about 51 per cent—are women and girls. As a result of the conflict, women and girls have been subjected to gross human rights abuses, including abductions, killings, trafficking, torture, forced marriage, and sexual and gender based violence.

The Issue

Despite government and other stakeholder efforts to address the country’s dire challenges, the rights of Iraqi women and girls continue to deteriorate because of serious institutional weaknesses and a difficult environment for peace, security and development. As extremist groups expand their influence, their territorial advances are paralleled by targeted attacks on women’s rights and basic freedoms—including their ability to move freely and engage in public life. This reality is compounded by entrenched structural discrimination that lies at the heart of gender inequality in Iraq, where the situation of women is largely shaped by male religious authorities and the strict implementation of Islamic law.

Complementarities & Partnerships

Iraqi CSOs working on gender issues and humanitarian interventions are reacting vigorously to the country’s wide range of peace and security challenges. Recognizing that peace and security cannot be realised without the participation of women in peace building and conflict resolution, local civil society organisations in Iraq have formed the “1325 Coalition” whose overall aim is to serve as a platform for advocacy to establish a relevant accountability framework that responds to women and girls’ emerging needs.

In Iraq, the WPHF will specifically focus on:

  1. Enhancing support to women CSOs to build upon existing strategies in order to create an enabling environment for the effective implementation of government normative commitments on women, peace and security through the operationalization
  2. Expanding areas of synergy and convergence with other local organizations engaged in service delivery, targeting displaced women and enabling the empowerment of women returnees.

Funding Needs

$2,000,000 over 2 years

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