: Lobby & Advocacy
The Association was very keen on joint action, cooperation and networking with NGOs, local, regional and international, for the success of various campaigns and activities, to mobilize public opinion and to influence decision-makers, also, the media was employed;publications and posters were issued for this purpose.
A – Development of Community Participation in the Political Process & National Unity
- During the years 2004 and 2005, the Association called for the establishment of The Iraqi Women Network (IWN), whose membership includes more than 80 organisations and women’s groups. It is through cooperation and coordination between these organisations and others, that the success in recognizing the active role of women in the political system was achieved, and the abolition of the resolution 137, which aimed to codify sectarianism in personal status law and to cancel the Personal Status Act No. 188 of 1959.
- IAA played a key role in defending women’s movement, focusing on the representation of women in decision-making positions, through adopting a representation of not less than 25 percent (quota) for them in the National Assembly, then in the House of Representatives. The campaign succeeded in confirming the issue of the percentage in the permanent Iraqi constitution.
- During the month of June 2004, IAA organized the National Conference for Women Empowerment in the Democratic Process, which was attended by approximately 350 participants from all parts of the country.
- Two workshops were organized on women empowerment in the electoral process, in August 2004 and January 2005, with the participation of 28 different women’s organisations from different govern orate.
- Making preparation for a training workshop on the Contribution of Youth in the Electoral Process, held in Ammanin December 2004, in which 18 young women and men, aged between 17 to 27 years participated.
- An umber of IAA representatives, participated in monitoring the elections in January 2005, in the govern orate of Arbil. Many of them also participated in the control of the second elections, which took place in December 2005, in various locations in the govern orates of Arbil and Duhok. A number of the Association’s representatives monitored the referendum on the constitution,which took place in October 2005 in the govern orate of Arbil.
· IAA implemented an extensive project on the dissemination of constitutional education, with the emphasis on rights and freedoms, and on treaties and international conventions on human rights, in particular (CEDAW). For several months during 2005, several work shops were held in Baghdad, Babil, Karbala,Kirkuk and Salahadeen for the activists, and more than 25000 citizens participated, in more than 730general meetings, in urban and rural areas of 13 govern orates. Also, dozens of mobile teams, and a numbers of activists of the media joined the program.
- In collaboration with the (IWN), IAA participated actively in the Conference of Women of the South, which was held in Basra in September 2005, and in the National Women’s Conference held in Karbala in October of 2005, which was held under the motto (Future Horizons of Iraq, Women and the Constitution).
- At the beginning of 2006, IAA contributed to the establishment of The National Group, in order to ensure human rights in the Iraqi constitution, which,throughout the year, carried out a range of advocacy activities and campaigns in this regard.
- In February through April 2006, The Association in conjunction with a group of NGO’s in Arbil, undertook the implementation of the (People’s Awareness Project, on the Role of Members of the House of Representatives in Iraq), through a referendum to determine the citizens demands addressed to the MP’s. 40 meetings were held, led by activists in the field of law, and attended by(1420) citizens.
- In June 2006, IAA participated in the Multilateral Dialogue on Human Rights and the Iraqi Constitution, which was organized by UNAMI, in Austria, in cooperation with the UNDP, the UN High Commission for Human Rights, and the Austrian Presidency of the European Union. The dialogues, between the representatives of political parties and civil society organisations and experts, focused on important issues concerning the application and promotion of the Bill of Rights and Freedoms stated in the Constitution, and the possible redrafting of it, in the context of the constitutional revision and implementation process.
- The Association participated in the Iraqi Judicial Independence Group, formed in mid 2006, which made a number of proposals to the Constitutional Amendments Committee, in the spring of 2007, on the judiciary and the Federal Supreme Court.
- In April 2006, IAA launched, with other women’s groups, the media campaign of the Iraqi women’s movement, under the motto of “Equality Not Discrimination”,aimed at mobilizing the public opinion on issues of national unity against terrorism and sectarianism, for peace and stability, the rule of law, as well as to maintain the personal status law in force, and the promotion of international human rights treaties, (CEDAW), and SCR 1325 in particular. The wide spectrum of activities included ; the organisation of symposium,conferences, festivals and workshops, in Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriya, Basra,Hilla, Saddat Al Hindiya , Arbil, Sulaimaniya and Kirkuk. Also, a number of television and radio programs were prepared.
- At the end of 2006, the Association participated in the delegation of Iraqi women’s movement that submitted a memorandum concerning the position of women’s organisations on the Constitution amendments to the Constitutional Review Committee in Parliament. Follow-up activities in this regard took place in the first half of 2007, through interviews with decision-makers, political leaders in the head of state and government , the House of Representatives and the Presidency of Kurdistan Region, in addition to discussing the subject with a number of international parties, to win their support on the demands of the women’s movement in order to rid the Constitution from the sectarian formulations of article 41, and the recognition of international human rights conventions as a source of national legislation.These activities had an impact, which led the constitutional amendments committee to include article 41 of the constitution as one of the debatable points.
- Asa part of its program in the follow-up of constitutional amendments, practically article 41, which was considered one controverted points before the Committee on constitutional amendments, and in order to help the Iraqi legislature to find common grounds when performing amendments on the constitutions as to maintain the unity of Iraq and to lay the foundations for the rule oflaw, the (IWN), in collaboration with IAA, during March and May of 2008, held four seminars on the comparison of personal status in the Constitution and the law, in different province, including Baghdad, Diwaniyah, Najaf and Karbala. A number of judge sand lawyers, specialists and researchers in this area participated in these seminars, as well as representatives of the government and political entities,clergymen, members of governorate’s councils, and activists in women’s and human rights organisations, and other civil society organisations, the total attendance was 82 persons. The campaign was accompanied by extensive media coverage by satellite channels, daily newspapers and web sites.
- IAA called, with a number of local NGO’s, for a Conference on National Unity,parallel to the official conference called for by the League of Arab Nations.The conference was held during the months of July and August 2006, and included three regional conferences (Shaqlawah and Hilla and Nasiriya), which were attended by representatives of more than (260) NGO’s, and political, cultural,social and media personalities. The conference forwarded its recommendations tothe political parties and the League of Arab States. And IAA delegated representative on behalf of civil society organisations to attend the preparatory meeting of the League of Arab States Conference, held in Cairo at the end of July. In March 2007, The Civil Conference for National Unity was held in Baghdad, with the presence of more than one hundred participants. The conference took the form of dialogue between representatives of NGO’s and civil society organisations with several MP’s on issues relating to the rule of law and justice, constitutional amendments, the role of community organizations in the promotion of civil dialogue and social coexistence and the relationship of civil society organizations with the government.
- On the 8th October 2007, the Association held in coordination with network of civil society organisations, a press conference under the motto(“Yes” to Federal Iraq, “No” to Sectarian Division), in order to declare the position of approximately (100) Iraqi NGOs that reject the”non-binding” decision of the US. Senate, to divide Iraq to three sectarian regions, which was attended by representatives of NGO’s and the media.
- At the end of May 2008, and on the sidelines of the annual inspection of the International Convention for Iraq Compact Conference,a delegation on the behalf of IWN, which included a representative from IAA,participated in a seminar held in Stockholm under the title “Iraqi Women Demand to Participate in the Future of Iraq”, organized by the Swedish organization; Women for Women, and with the support of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In which Ms. Colonel a Carson the Minister of Development and Swedish International Cooperation, Mr. Staff an Disturb the UN Special Representative in Iraq, and Ms.Dina Zorba Head of UNI FEM programs in Iraq participated. A detailed presentation on the situation of Iraqi women was presented, the demands of thew omen’s movement were identified in order to ensure the active participation and partnership of civil society organisation sin the implementation of the objectives of the Compact International for Iraq and monitoring its application, and to create a healthy environment to enable women to achieve gender equality, and to give them equal opportunities in all areas, and expand their participation in decision-making positions, and assign the activities of women’s organisations in lobbying and advocacy on violence against women and the constitutional amendments. It was covered by the Swedish and other foreign countries media.
- In June 2008, IAA supported the meeting on behalf of the Iraqi women’s movement with 25 representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Baghdad, as well as representatives of UNAMI and Human Rights Office in Iraq, to gain support for the participation of Iraqi women in the process of democratic transformations,the dialogue was conducted on the political situation in Iraq, the viewpoint of the women’s movement on the Law of the Iraqi Provincial Elections , and certainly the importance of women’s quota, as well as on the constitutional amendments, and the increase of violence against women, and women’s movement activity in this regard, and to urge the international community to give priority to providing financial grants to civil society organizations and women’s groups in accordance with SCR. 1325, and to support civil society organizations in Iraq to urge the government to adopt the NGOs law draft.