Advancing gender mainstreaming for sustainable environmental management in Iraq

Feb 13, 2017

Participants being capacitated on practical means to integrate gender concerns in environment projects. Photo: Abdulhadi Hameed/UNDP Iraq/2017

Baghdad- In collaboration with the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has organized a technical workshop with the objective of discussing and improving understanding of gender mainstreaming in environment projects in Iraq. Held on 13 February 2017 in Baghdad, the workshop was attended by twenty-four gender focal points from various ministries including Health and Environment, Water Resources, Electricity, Defence, Interior, and Culture, in addition to officials from the KRG’s Environmental Protection and Improvement Board (EPIB).

The workshop provided conceptual framework and tools for gender mainstreaming within the scope of environmental programming. Participants were effectively engaged in technical discussions on practical means to integrate gender concerns in environment projects that are relevant to their portfolios, with a specific focus on the local level flood preparedness measures to address the risks posed by Mosul Dam along the Tigris River floodplain.

UNDP’s Environment, Energy and Climate Change (EECC) Programme Manager, Mr. Tarik-ul-Islam, noted that ‘’gender is a central organizing principle in all societies, and gender inequality will lead to differing risk profiles for women and men in the ways natural resources are managed and the disaster and climate risks are addressed.’’

Director General of the Ministry of Health and Environment (MoHE), Ms. Shatha Kadham, said: “Climate change impacts every aspect of our life across all sectors. Climate is not gender-neutral. It impacts men, women, boys and girls differently, as well as their needs and capacities. It also increases the vulnerability of women more than others.”

“Women and girls usually play a key role in providing and managing fresh water consumption in the household. They are responsible for the sanitation and hygiene at home, and are also often engaged in gardening or small farming activities,” added UNDP Gender Specialist, Ms. Sundus Abbas. “When water quality deteriorates and availability becomes limited, this inevitably increases the burden women and girls bear and can affect the health and well-being of everyone.”

Concluding the workshop, participants agreed on working towards the following goals:  

  1. Advocate for gender disaggregated data across all relevant sectors;
  2. Advocate for developing Gender Action Plans in each ministry at the national level, supported by sound monitoring and evaluation system for implementation;
  3. Enhance understanding about the link between environment and gender inequality in the Iraqi society, including amongst community members, policy-makers, and decision-makers;
  4. Launch innovative gender interventions in the environmental sector; and
  5. Draft a multilingual reader friendly booklet on women, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and environment that includes short messages targeting women and girls, with the support of UNDP and in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Environment, and Culture, and EPIB.



Tarik-ul-Islam, Programme Manager, Environment, Energy and Climate Change (EECC), (m) +964 780 197 6462


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