Fostering gender inclusive peacebuilding in Iraq

October 17, 2021

Photo: 05-06 October workshop participants.

Integrating a gender perspective into peacebuilding must begin from the ground-up. Accordingly, from 05 to 06 October, UNDP Iraq in partnership with Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) held a two-day workshop on gender mainstreaming in the design of social cohesion activities. The workshop was attended by 21 members of the Peace and Reconciliation Working Group in Ninewa Governorate, which brings together local and international peacebuilding organizations, government entities, as well as UN agencies and donors.

Led by FBA, Swedish agency for peace, security, and development, the workshop introduces gender concepts and societal and institutional structures, the Iraqi policy framework and national action plan, and integration of gender perspectives into activities the participants will implement on the ground in Iraq.

Photo: Sheeren, centre, writing.

“My organization's goal is rehabilitation for women, so this training is very relevant to the work I perform. We support women involvement in mediation, reconciliation, social cohesion, and peacebuilding. We work on challenges and how to solve them, especially in conservative areas.”

-Sheeren Shukri Ahmed, Senior Program Officer, Women Rehabilitation Organization.

Photo: Jwan, far right.

“This training was a tool to improve my skills so I can help myself to help others. Following this training, I can put the principles I learn into practice to serve my community and people. I believe no project is complete without considering gender; it affects everything in our daily lives.”

-Jwan Azad Sliwa, Social Worker, Blumont Organization.

Photo: Rifaat, centre.

“Gender mainstreaming is one of the important topics that was somehow neglected over the past years. After liberation, we were focused on livelihoods, food, cash, and rehabilitating buildings, but then we realized that we need gender mainstreaming for sustainability.”

-Rifaat Jumaah, Community Engagement Associate, International Organization for Migration.

UNDP Iraq has launched in 2020 a dedicated 5-year Social Cohesion Programme to promote stronger, peaceful, and more cohesive communities in all areas of Iraq. In May 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between UNDP Iraq and FBA to enhance local capacities for peacebuilding in Iraq with concentration on gender mainstreaming in peacebuilding.