With the aim to highlight the different aspects of the relationship between media and women's rights in Iraq, the United Nations in Iraq organized a roundtable discussion attended by international and national stakeholders, the first platform of its kind towards empowering women in and through the Iraqi media.
This was part of this year's World Press Freedom Day events. The roundtable, organized by UNAMI, UN Women and UNESCO, was held on Wednesday 1 May in the UN compound in Baghdad under the theme "The role of the Media in Advancing Women’s Rights in Iraq".
The roundtable brought together media professionals as well as representatives of the Iraqi Independent Human Rights Commission, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), NGOs, media syndicates, the Iraqi human rights defenders federation and international partners.
The key subject of the discussions was the role of Iraqi media in promoting women's rights and gender equality nationwide. Another hot topic was the promotion of a greater participation of women in the media particularly at the decision-making levels, with a view to strengthen women's political participation through media.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, strongly encouraged women in general and women in media to speak more forcefully about the promotion, protection and respects of human rights for all. “Where were the women in the elections? Where were the women in the Hawija events?” he asked, emphasizing the importance of women's voices to be heard in all matters that touch upon their future and the future of their children.