Basra & Kirkuk in a Conference for a Joint Project of Women Against Violence
Under the banner “Developing Cooperation Between the Local Authorities in Basra and Kirkuk with Civil Society Organizations to Involve Women in Peace, Security and Community Cohesion Process”, Iraqi Al-Amal Association and Al-Firdous Iraqi Association held the final conference of Women Against Violence Project in its second yearin Erbil on 8thand 9th January 2016. The project was implemented in Basra and Kirkuk with support from the Dutch organization, PAX. 40 prominent figures from Basra and Kirkuk local authorities, Governorate Councils, and services departments participated in the conference, As well as some members of the Iraqi Parliament and human rights and women’s rights activists from Baghdad, Suleimaniya and Erbil.
The conference was opened with a welcome by the activist Sorood Mohamed Falih, Iraqi Al-Amal Association / Kirkuk Office Manager and the Activist Fatima Al-Bahadly, Head of Al-Firdous Iraqi Association which is based in Basra. The two activists presented a brief description of Women Against Violence project during 2014 and 2015.
This was followed by the representatives of Kirkuk local government Ms Jwan Hasan, Basra government Mr. Munther Al-Faiyadh, Iraqi Parliament Ms Reezan Sheikh Mohamed, Baghdad Governorate Council member Ms Dahaa Al-Rawi and PAX organization Ms Teresa Du Fraise who all expressed their thanks to Iraqi Al-Amal Association, Al-Firdous Iraqi Association and PAX organization for organizing such a conference and inviting them to participate in it to change the status of women through the implementation of 1325 resolution in Basra and Kirkuk governorates to become models for other governorates and to follow their footsteps in implementing this resolution.
The conference commenced with a presentation by the coordinator of Women Network, the activist Amal Kbashi, of the contents of the Security Council resolution 1325 and the following resolutions 2122 and 2242, and their projection on the Iraqi reality. The activist from Al-Rafidain Women Alliance Association, Ms Hanaa Abbas, gave a presentation on the national work plan and the contingency plan for resolution 1325.
A presentation on the activities of the project, Women Against Violence, in Basra and Kirkuk, the accomplishment, challenges and lessons learned, was delivered by the activist Ms Sorood Mohamed Falih of Iraqi Al-Amal Association and the activist Ms Sanaa Al-Mosawi of Al-Firdous Iraqi Association. Two participants in the project, Ms Adeeba Shkoor from Aldibis district and Ms Nazik Jasim from Altoon Kobrey township told of their success stories in Kirkuk. They illustrated the effect of the project on them and how it raised their confidence, developed their abilities and skills in working as a social researchers amongst women and the roles they played to build peace and security in their regions.
The Chairperson of the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, Ms Hanaa Edwar, followed by a contribution on“ Women Participation Against Violence, Terrorism and Extremism” The contributions were interposed by discussions, comments and questions by the participants which livened the conference.
The participants were divided into two groups (Basra and Kirkuk) during the second session to determine the work priorities in 2016 in order to implement the contingency plan of 1325 resolution and come up with a draft for the cooperation between the local authorities and CSOs to involve women in peace, security and community cohesion process.
In the second day of the conference Ms Anka Kloples, Manager of Women Against Violence project / PAX organization explained the idea the project, the countries where it was implemented, the importance of the project in changing the status of women, the activities that were implemented during the project’s period and the importance of 1325 resolution.
At the end of the conference, the recommendations of both groups were introduced and discussed by the participants. The cooperation pact between the local authorities and CSOs was agreed, striving to gain support for it in the two provinces and to be officially adopted.
the conference was concluded by contributions from the activist Jamal Al-Jawahiri, Executive Director of Iraqi Al-Amal Association, Ms Sorood Mohamed, Ms Fatima Al-Bahadly and Ms Teresa Du Fraise, expressing their thanks and appreciation to all the participants in the conference and their cooperation to make it a success.
Media coverage was provided by Rudaw satellite channel.
This conference is considered as the conclusion to the second year activities of Women Against Violence project by Iraqi Al-Amal Association / Kirkuk and Al-Firdous Iraqi Association.