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Towards Enhancing Women’s Participation in Peace Processes in Ninewah

  • Country: Iraq
  • Contact person: Michaela Eckart
  • Duration of the project: Completed, July-October 2020
  • Project objective: “A strategy for women’s participation in peace processes in Nineveh”; available in English and Arabic.
  • Donors: This project was funded by the GIZ.

Women are particularly affected by the extremely violent social structures in Iraq. Especially in the region of Ninewah women were victims of violence by the IS. Rape, forced marriage, and slavery followed the capture of Iraqi villages and towns by IS fighters. Religious minorities and in particular Yazidi women were exposed to cruel persecutions. These traumatic experiences will affect the lives of women and communities for a long time. 

“A Strategy for Women Participation in Peace Processes in Ninewah” aimed at contributing to the improvement of the social and economic situation of women in the Ninewah governorate through enhancing their involvement in peacebuilding processes. It intended to equip stakeholders, particularly women, with tools and skills that could be used for the improvement of their role in political life in Ninewah in the long run. 

To this effect, a diverse group of Iraqis from the Ninewah governorate developed the content for a draft strategy paper on the role and improved participation of women in peace, reconciliation, transitional justice and conflict resolution processes in Ninewah. This process took place  over the course of July 2020. The individual stakeholders came from different religious and ethnic backgrounds and ranged from members of civil society, women’s organizations and officials in public administration to tribal and religious figures. 

In June 2020, elbarlament conducted in-depth interviews with more than 60 stakeholders across the governorate and is organizing three focus groups in July in order to discuss topical issues regarding the peacebuilding process in Ninewah. 

Based on the interviews, an additional study on peacebuilding in Iraq based on the stakeholders’ input provided during the focus groups, elbarlament developed the draft strategy paper and handed it over to the President’s Office. It could serve as a good practice example for the whole of Iraq. 

In order to have a sustainable impact, elbarlament conducted a workshop on peacebuilding and conflict resolution in Ninewah, as well as an online training course on the principles of UNSCR 1325 together with local and international experts in July 2020.

The strategy paper consists of recommendations to policymakers, key stakeholders, and the Iraqi national government on how to include women in reconciliation and peace processes, notably in the Ninewah governorate. Furthermore, it provided measures on how recommendations could be implemented through a National Action Plan. You can download it in English and Arabic.