Women's participation critical to ending corruption in Iraq: New forum launches today
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq has launched Iraq's first-ever anti-corruption forum for women, highlighting the integral role women play in combating corruption in the country.
The Women Against Corruption forum brings together 35 academics and activist Iraqi women from the government, civil society and the private sector across the country to elevate the participation of women in anti-corruption measures for the socio-economic development of Iraq.
As part of its commitment to achieving gender equality under Agenda2030, UNDP supported the establishment of the forum, providing group members with technical support to identify ways to engage young women in the fight against corruption, and develop an awareness-raising campaigns targeting the general population.
The forum takes a grassroots approach, placing community at its core and actively involving individuals - men and women - in the process of fighting corruption.
"In Iraq, most anti-corruption measures focus on governmental institutions, while the role of the community, civil society and the private sector remain secondary. If the country is to succeed in its fight against corruption, it should invest in the community as a whole," says Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.
"Corruption exacerbates gender inequalities. As primary caretakers of their households and communities, women experience corruption in their everyday lives. Understanding corruption at a grassroots level, from the perspective of women, and highlighting their critical role in addressing misuse of power is central to preventing and reducing corruption in Iraq," she adds.
Prior to the forum's launch, members undertook research that revealed the most prevalent forms of corruption in Iraq from the perspective of women. The research also revealed that the most common obstacles preventing women from reporting corruption included a lack of confidence in the party receiving the reports, and a fear of reprisals from the reporting agency.