Iraq Foundation – Statement to UNSCR on October 10, 2023

Delivered by IF Country Manager Ms. Dhefaf Al-Jarahi

Supporting women’s political participation – Allotted time (5 minutes)

Required briefing topic: Political participation Security Council – New York, 9432nd session

Distinguished President of the Security Council Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of the Security Council

Today, I am honored to be a representative of the civil society organizations in Iraq that supported the file of women’s political participation, as we were among the first organizations to work on this file from the year (2004) until now. The Iraq Foundation and the organizations under its umbrella have worked tirelessly to support women, especially in areas affected by terrorist organizations. We have also been active in the regions of southern Iraq and the central Euphrates, where these areas witnessed major security challenges and threats that women faced and continue to face to this day.

Respected attendees: Although Iraq is considered a pioneer in developing policies and plans that support women’s participation in society compared to countries in the region, discrimination based on gender (men – women) still constitutes an obstacle to women’s formal participation in the decision-making process and their participation in investing in material and political resources. Women still have not achieved equality with men in political status or in the power of political influence. Despite this, we cannot compare what the situation of women in Iraq is going through now with what it was (previously), as the last two decades witnessed remarkable progress in the political participation of women in Iraq, and the number of feminist organizations, networks, and movements increased, and this was reflected in the strength of their influence in local, national, and international policies. A number of women were able to hold important political positions, with the increase in women’s political participation, in terms of an increase in the percentage of women in the House of Representatives or their membership in political parties, as well as in decision-making positions. In addition to the increased participation in the protest movements that Iraq has witnessed in recent years. Today, we are looking forward to increasing their representation in senior and leadership ranks, which influence the decision-making process.

Civil society organizations in Iraq have done an outstanding job in supporting women’s participation, as we presented many studies that showed the extent of the challenges facing women, the danger of threats to them, and ways to confront and overcome these challenges. We also trained hundreds of young women leaders to encourage them to participate in the political process. I am almost certain that the role of civil society organizations was extremely creative in urging the government to adopt comprehensive policies and plans for women’s rights.

In the context of ongoing efforts to enhance women’s rights and participation in political life, we renew our call to the international community to provide the necessary support to Iraq. We must all come together to provide continued support to enhance women’s participation. We all know that international support plays a vital role in providing resources and expertise that promote progress, and that is why we urge international bodies to provide support for projects and programs that promote women’s rights and support their participation in the political arena.

On the other hand, we call on the Iraqi government to complete the plans and policies it is working on, including (the National Strategy for Iraqi Women 2023-2030) in cooperation with the United Nations, and to support the parties working on the women’s issue, regardless of their names in their government formations, and to strengthen their role and involve them as a pivotal body in Formulating public policies and implementing relevant programs. Therefore, the government must ensure the provision of sufficient financial and human resources and support to enable these agencies to perform their role effectively and efficiently.

In conclusion, the issue of achieving equality and supporting women’s participation in political life must be a joint and cooperative matter between the international community and the Iraqi government. Especially since Iraq is heading towards an electoral process in the coming period, we look forward to the Iraqi government providing the full and necessary protection to participating women. Achieving this will serve Iraq’s stability and progress towards a brighter and more just future.

Thank you