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Baghdad, Iraq; 8 March 2019 – Women in Iraq and across the world are entitled to live in dignity, in freedom and without discrimination. Gender equality, a human right, plays a crucial role in sustainable development, peace and security.

This year, the world celebrates women by putting innovation at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality. The International Women’s Day theme for 2019: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” highlights the role innovation plays in overcoming social barriers, accelerating progress for gender equality, encouraging investment in gender-centred initiatives, and building services and infrastructure that responds to the needs of women and girls across the world.

Women in Iraq have suffered from major psychological and emotional consequences due to the continuous displacement, the traumatic events and the violence caused by the protracted crises, threatening their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. The United Nations estimates that there are 3,3 million women and girls in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019 across the country.

While the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government have taken significant steps towards acknowledging women rights, women and girls are yet to be given the opportunity to contribute more effectively in shaping policies and making changes, especially at a time when the country recovers from three years of conflict.

On this International Women’s Day, we call upon both governments to invest further in the great potential of the women in Iraq to boost economic and social development of the country.

UN Women and UNFPA renew their commitment to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in the areas of social protection and access to public services across the country to improve the lives of women, adolescents and youth, enabled by population dynamics and human rights.

Dina Zorba, Representative, UN Women Iraq

Dr Oluremi Sogunro, Representative, UNFPA Iraq

For more information, please contact:

Husamaldeen El-Zubi, Communication Officer, UN Women Iraq,

Salwa Moussa, UNFPA Iraq, Communications Specialist,