Women Minorities Forum finalizes vision and workplan for 2017 focusing on rights and inclusiveness

Mar 6, 2017

“Women play a major role in striving for the rights of minorities," said Mr. Sultan Hajiyev. Photo: Karzan Saadon/UNDP Iraq/2017

Erbil- Since its establishment in April 2016, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Women Minorities Forum has been developing a common understanding on the needs and priorities of women minorities in Iraq.  

On 5 and 6 March 2017, twenty women gathered for a workshop in Erbil to mark International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March, to finalize the Forum’s vision, mission, strategic objectives, and workplan for 2017. UNDP’s Strengthening Participatory and Accountable Governance project (SPAG) facilitated the workshop.

In his opening remarks, UNDP Deputy Country Director for Iraq, Mr. Sultan Hajiyev, stressed: “Women play a major role in striving for the rights of minorities, especially in countries where these rights are impacted by the political and economic dynamics. We hope that the Women Minorities Forum initiative will help to promote inclusiveness and participatory governance in Iraq.”

“We are pleased that the Women Minorities Forum is celebrating International Women’s Day this year by finalizing their strategic vision and workplan that aim at combating discrimination, contributing to community reconciliation, and achieving social justice,” stated UNDP Gender Specialist, Ms. Sundus Abbas.

In 2016, Forum members held several consultative meetings to mobilize support for their work, including with community minority leaders, and heads of Women Committees in the Provincial Councils of Baghdad, Erbil, Duhok, Kirkuk and Basra.

Activist from Basra, Ms. Sana Musa Nasir, said: “Women of Iraq can best contribute to community reconciliation when they join forces to fight for their rights.”

Former Parliament Member and Yazidi activist from Duhok, Ms. Ameena Saeed, said: “We hope that the Forum will contribute to advocating the cause of Yazidi women and reflecting their voice in order to mobilize support for the integration of survivors of conflict in their communities.” 

“Compassion and peace can help us to work towards saving our society and rebuilding our country,” added Chair of Khatoon Organization and Turkmen activist from Kirkuk, Ms. Yuksel Mustafa Kamal. 

The Women Minorities Forum was established with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Government of Denmark. With three focal points in Basra, Sinjar and Karbala, the Forum helps to promote the rights of minorities, inclusiveness and participation in community reconciliation in Iraq.

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