Iraqi government, UNAMI launch strategy to combat violence against women

Photo Credit: UNAMI

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SULAIMANI — The Iraqi government and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) launched a national strategy to combat violence against women on Sunday (December 9) at an event in Baghdad.

“It is a propitious day to be thinking and talking about the rights of women to live lives free of violence,” Deputy Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General Alice Walpole said at the launch.

In a press release, UNAMI explained that the national strategy provides a “framework on which policy and decision makers will draw to take concrete actions aimed at preventing violence against women and girls and protecting survivors of violence.”

The launch was attended by First Lady of Iraq Surbagh Salih, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers Mahdi al-Allaq, Director-General of the Women Empowerment Department Ibtisam Aziz, as well as other senior government officials, members of the judiciary, civil society, and representatives from UN agencies.

“This strategy is yet another win for women and girls in Iraq as it adds to the progresses observed in the past few years,” said UNFPA Representative to Iraq Oluremi Sogunro.

While those present hailed the national strategy as a step forward, they warned that there was much work to be done to prevent and punish violence women in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

In 2015, then-Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi eliminated the ministry of state for women’s affairs as a part of a sweeping reform that cut the number of ministries from 33 to 22.

Additionally, the Council of Representatives in Baghdad has yet to pass a proposed law to protect families from domestic violence.

Moreover, violence against women in rife in Iraq and the Region.

Last month, the Directorate of Combating Violence Against Women said that violence against women was on the rise in the Kurdistan Region.

Monday (December 10) also marks the conclusion of the “16 Days of Activism” campaign against gender-based violence, although activists stress that their work continues throughout the year.

(NRT Digital Media)