elbarlament’s Leadership Programme in Iraq

From October until December 2020, elbarlament e.V. conducted the first two modules of a leadership programme within the project ‘Women Talking Peace’ in Iraq through virtual training sessions. This workshop programme aims at empowering Iraqi women to effectively participate in the areas of conflict resolution, reconciliation work and decision making as well as empowering them to become an active part of society.   

A lengthy application and selection process of participants resulted in the formation of a diverse group of driven women from all over Iraq that want to create change within their society. Within the leadership programme, our experienced trainers work with these women towards achieving their professional goals to become, for example, members of parliament, skilled mediators or taking a lead in a civil society organization. 

To that end, the programme puts a heavy focus on soft skills as a basis for becoming a leader. In 2020, two modules were dedicated to the personal development of the participants through strengthening their self-esteem, self and gender awareness as well as interpersonal and communication skills, anger management, team building skills and last but not least to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses.  The workshops included rich discussions about societal and traditional restrictions and the oppression of women in Iraq and how to overcome these challenges.  Already at the end of these first two modules, participants expressed the positive impact the programme had on them and how much they developed their personalities through elbarlament e.V.’s workshops. Some participants developed own peacebuilding project ideas and felt encouraged to become more active members of their communities. 

Having built a solid set of soft skills, 2021 began with directing the spotlight on the international and Iraqi national framework to women, peace and security. Discussions on UNSCR 1325 as well as the first and second National Action plan regarding UNSCR1325 constituted the core of the workshops. Other sessions evolved around Transitional Justice and Iraq’s way of addressing the numerous and large-scale violations of human rights from 2005 to this day. 

The programme will continue with a module on Conflict Management and Political Participation in February 2021, followed by Social Media Campaigning and Project Management modules in the following months. 

We will keep you posted!