ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) — Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Iraq, Alice Walpole, on Sunday called for an increase of women’s role in politics and include them in the decision-making process in Iraq and elsewhere.
Her comments were delivered during a regional forum aimed at advancing women’s rights in Iraq and across the Middle Eastern region, with participants from Iraq, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Yemen.
The forum is being held under the auspices of the President of Iraq, with support from the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), UN Women, the Women’s International League for Peace, and the Dutch Embassy.
Walpole called on women representatives attending the forum to use this unique opportunity to learn from one another in facing the challenges and difficulties that continue to obstruct the advancement of women and their rights in the region.
She recalled that the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, remains a key priority for the leadership of UNAMI and urged the Iraqi authorities to pursue a national action plan to enable the meaningful representation of women in political and decision-making processes in Iraq.
“Iraq, at this critical moment of its post-conflict development, simply cannot afford to ignore the energy and expertise of half its population” Walpole stated, according to a UNAMI statement.
The Baghdad Regional Forum will include two days of interactive workshops on 26-27 August, discussing the role and achievements of regional mechanisms in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, reducing violence against women and empowering women in politics.
The role of women in the political process in Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Region remains disappointingly reduced, but their numbers are increasing, namely in the Kurdistan Region.
Following the 2018 elections in the Kurdish region, two women were elected to the Kurdistan Parliament leadership, including the interim Speaker and one of her deputies. Similarly, in the new cabinet, the number of women ministers has increased from one to three in the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Currently, no women has been placed in the Iraqi Parliament leadership, nor as ministers in the new federal government.
Editing by Nadia Riva