Iraqi ministries and NGOs cooperate to broaden the role of women in pursuit of Iraq’s Sustainable Development Goals

Oct 3, 2017

During a roundtable held in Baghdad, participants specifically discussed Iraq’s strategy to attain Sustainable Development Goal 16 on inclusive societies and access to justice. Photo: Israa Mansour/UNDP Iraq/2017

Baghdad – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing support to Iraq to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Agenda 2030. As part of a series of activities focusing on the gender perspective, UNDP held a roundtable on 03 October 2017 in Baghdad to discuss the role of women and the way forward.

Representatives of Iraqi ministries and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), specifically worked together to discuss Iraq’s strategy to attain Sustainable Development Goal 16 on inclusive societies and access to justice. They also discussed methodologies to update national databases to reflect women and gender issues in accordance with the SDGs targets and indicators. Participating ministries were: Planning; Water Resources; Electricity; Health and Environment; Labour and Social Affairs; Higher Education; Defence; and Interior. The Um Alyatim for Development Foundation, and Youth Development, Family Planning, and Green Climate Organizations participated as NGO representatives.

Director General of Human Resources Development in the Ministry of Planning, Mrs. Okood Abdulhussein, said: “To meet Goal 16, we need to take concrete steps towards building an inclusive society and enabling access to justice for all in Iraq. Critical to this are adopting anti-human trafficking laws, with focus on women and children, and establishing legal and social protection mechanisms for women and girls. We need to give special attention to widows and divorced women, and those living in liberated areas.”

“The role of civil society is fundamental and crucial to the integration of SDGs in Iraq’s national development plans,” stressed another participant, Mrs. Amira Albaldawi, who heads the Um Alyatim for Development Foundation. “Currently, we are building a coalition of NGOs to effectively promote our  important role in fostering and monitoring progress towards Agenda 2030. We look forward to UNDP’s technical support to this coalition.”

UNDP Gender Specialist, Ms. Sundus Abbas, said: “Key to sustainable development in Iraq is securing a broader role for women in public life, across various sectors, in addition to ensuring access to justice for all. The starting point should be the internally displaced people and returnees to liberated areas who have suffered most.”

The roundtable participants identified the need for UNDP’s technical support to government institutions, as well as NGOs that deal with women affairs, in order to facilitate the updating of databases and statistics related to women in various sectors, empowering family protection units within ministries and improving coordination and accountability. They decided to join their efforts and build an alliance to work towards the implementation of the SDGs.

UNDP, in collaboration with other UN Agencies, is working with the Ministry of Planning to develop an efficient data collection system to support the measurement of progress on SDG implementation. 


Sundus Abbas, Gender Specialist, (m) +964 780 197 6464

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