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Towards Enhancing Women’s Participation in Peace Processes in Ninewah

Copyright Julie Biro and Lorenz Findeisen

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” aims 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 intends 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 will over the course of July 2020 develop 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. The individual stakeholders have different religious and ethnic backgrounds and range 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 peace building in Iraq based on the stakeholders’ input provided during the focus groups, elbarlament will develop the draft strategy paper and hand it eventually over to the President’s Office. It could serve as a good practice example for the entire Iraq. 

The draft strategy paper will consist of recommendations to policy makers, key stakeholders and the Iraqi national government on how to include women in reconciliation and peace processes, notably in the Ninewah governorate. Furthermore, it will provide measures on how recommendations could be implemented through a National Action Plan. 

In order to have a sustainable impact, elbarlament will conduct a workshop on peace-building 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.

Copyright Julie Biro and Lonrenz Findeisen