Increasing Women's Political Participation in Iraq

UNDP & UNWomen reaffirm their commitment toward increasing women's political participation in Iraq

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (UNWomen) in Iraq partnered to support women's political participation and representation in Iraq. Today, the two UN agencies sign a US$1 million partnership agreement in Baghdad.

The joint project focuses on addressing the constraints on women's political voice, strengthening women's decision-making and leadership in elected spaces and increasing leadership in civic spaces. Concretely, the partnership will aim to:

  • Strengthen elected female leaders and potential candidates' ability to influence decisions, demand their rights and actively engage in decision-making at all levels.
  • Increase the use of special measures, such as quotas, to improve women's leadership and representation within political parties in Iraq.
  • Mitigate obstacles to female participation in public life by addressing violence against women in politics.

"For long-term development to be inclusive and effective, we need women's representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic, and political situations. We need to expedite progress. We need bold, intensified, decisive action across Iraq to bring women into the heart of the decision-making spaces in large numbers and as full equal partners. There's no doubt this can and should be done. It should be done now," said Resident Coordinator Ghulam Isaczai, adding "The UN is committed to empower women leaders, support greater representation of women in politics, achieve gender equality and root out gender-based violence."

"When there are more women leaders in political and public life, everyone benefits, especially in fragile contexts like Iraq. Therefore, we need more female leaders in Iraq, women that come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. For this reason, UNDP is excited to join efforts with UN Women to promote women's equal participation and representation in politics at all levels," says UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Zena Ali-Ahmad.

"Empowering women is at the heart of what we do and one of our main priorities is to ensure that women have the ability to meaningfully participate and lead in decision-making processes and be represented on the political front. We hope that through this partnership with UNDP, we will drive forward women's and youth leadership in Iraq and strengthen institutions and systems to provide inclusive gender-responsive services," added Dina Zorba, UNWomen Representative Iraq & Yemen.

This partnership builds on UNDP and UN Women's long-standing ongoing efforts related to elections, legislative reform, and women's leadership. The project will be implemented and built on the continuing work of the two organizations on gender mainstreaming across Iraqi institutions, access to justice, and public sector reform.

(Source: UN)

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