“We have the obligation to take action. When we witness violence against women and girls we must speak out, demanding it to stop and justice for the victims and prosecution of the perpetrators,” Ms. Grande said.
On her part, the Head of UN Women in Iraq, Dr. Hiba Qasas said “We all share the deep pain at hearing of the plight of thousands of women and children who have been the victims of horrific violations of their human rights at the hands of Da’esh (ISIL)”.
Iraqi women are often on the frontline in crisis situations, holding families and communities together. “Women are on the frontline calling for national reconciliation and countering all forms of radicalization and extremism. The UN resolutions on women, peace and security demand the recognition of women as agents of change. It is not just their right, it is also better for stabilization and lasting peace. The whole society benefits from women’s inclusion and empowerment,” Dr. Qasas said.
“Women and girls are often on the first targets of attack by violent extremists. Their rights and role on countering violence and extremism must be front and center of finding solutions to this immense challenge,” Qasas added.
Baghdad Mayor, Dr. Dhikra Al-Wash raised the economic cost to society saying no effort must be spared in eliminating harms to women. She called for greater monitoring of violence against women and services for victims.
UN Women and Iraqi women will continue the women’s human rights dialogues over the following two days to develop a plan of action.
The launch conference was followed by a bazar of handicrafts made by women and organized by IOM and a paintings exhibition of women painters organized by UNDP.
(Source: UNDP in Iraq)