A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has today been signed between the General Secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers' (GSCOM) Women Empowerment Directorate and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to advance gender equality, women empowerment, and social cohesion in Iraq.
Building upon existing structures and ongoing gender mainstreaming efforts, the new partnership will strengthen the institutional and analytical capacity of relevant Iraqi stakeholders to advance gender equality, focusing on the specific needs of women and girls in Iraq.
It will help Iraq achieve its gender equality commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by integrating gender perspective in governmental policies and plans.
One of the priority activities under the MoU is to assist the government's Central Statistical Organization to establish an e-platform that aims at bridging the gender classified data gap by facilitating the flow of reliable, gender-specific data across different institutions in the country that will help shape government policies.
The Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Mr. Hamid Al-Ghizi said:
"Whereas women around the world are seen as powerful agents of change towards advanced, sustainable and inclusive societies, Iraqi women have played a strong role in addressing the crises and challenges that Iraq has experienced and have had an effective role and contribution in establishing inclusive society. Hence, we believe that this MoU is an important step towards strengthening these roles"
Resident Representative of UNDP in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad, said:
"While Iraq still grapples with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has disproportionately affected women and girls, exacerbating numerous existing social, economic and political challenges. This calls for increased gender responsive efforts towards achieving gender equality.
"UNDP Iraq will continue support the government to mainstream gender equality and fulfil its national obligations under the SDGs. This MoU with GSCOM will further strengthen inclusive and gender sensitive policies, as well as our efforts to achieve gender equality in Iraq."