Empowering Female Candidates for Provincial Council Elections

Training female candidates for the provincial council elections in December 2023

In the context of its project Empowering Women Candidates for 2023 Provincial elections in the provinces of Baghdad, Diwaniyah and Basra IFDHR conducted on Nov. 16-18 province a three-day training workshop in Baghdad with female candidates specifically targeting members from emerging political parties. The training aimed to refine the leadership skills of female candidates, equipping them with the necessary tools to navigate these elections. Emphasis was placed on effective communication with the public, a comprehensive understanding of the duties and powers of provincial council members as well as related laws and regulations, and knowledge & good practices on how to select a proficient work team.

IFDHR ensured the success of this empowerment training for female first-time candidates in Baghdad and another one in Diwaniyah after initially conducting:

  • a survey/questionnaire for mapping female candidates and assessment of their needs and previous experiences relevant to running for elected office,
  • focus group discussions with select groups of women candidates from the targeted three provinces of Baghdad, Diwaniyah and Basra to further build the curriculum for the training workshops,
  • a selection process to ensure the women’s eligibility for the training with emphasis on their previous work experience (with communities, government or a civil society organization) and the understanding of their role as a provincial council member.

The trainings received valuable support from the Department of Women’s Empowerment (Office of the Prime Minister) and the Independent High Electoral Commission. Their assistance played a crucial role in facilitating communication with candidates and encouraging their active participation in these training sessions.

This project, run by the Iraq Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights Reinforcement (IFDHR) funded by the Iraq Foundation (Washington DC), intends to enhance the participation visibility and success of first-time female candidates for the 2023 provincial elections. By targeting female candidates from the provinces of Baghdad, Diwaniyah and Basra, and providing these women with skills to successfully run their campaigns, IFDHR aims to contribute to a strong and effective representation of women in the next provincial councils, especially female members of the emerging political parties. With women’s distinct knowledge of social and service needs in communities, their increased participation in local policies and planning through their mandate in provincial councils can help improve the responsiveness of those councils and ensure the provision of necessary services that meet citizens’ needs.


Click Here To View The Final Report