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Kurdistan High Council of Women Affairs, UN Women, UNFPA Celebrate International Women’s Day

14 March 2021 – The High Council of Women Affairs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, in partnership with UN Women and UNFPA, renewed its commitment to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda during the International Women’s Day celebration in Erbil.  

Under the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, the High Council, UNWomen and UNFPA rewarded successful women activists and female leaders from the health, social, education and cultural sectors for their outstanding achievements in supporting communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was attended by Dr Khanzad Ahmed, Secretary-General of the High Council of Women Affairs and Mr Omeed Khoshnaw, the Governor of Erbil with representatives from UN Women and UNFPA and members of the civil society.

In her opening speech, Dr Khanzad shed light on the role of women, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the upcoming elections. She stressed on the significant role they play in strengthening women political participation in the Kurdistan Region. The Secretary-General thanked the United Nations Agencies, the NGO’s and the civil society for their work aimed at empowering women to contribute further to advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Iraq.  

For this part, Mr Khoshnaw highlighted the urgent need to empower women economically and reduce violence against women, especially in the context of the pandemic that increased women’s vulnerabilities. He expressed gratitude to all women who are working hard to support their families and their community on a daily basis.   

UN Women and UNFPA reaffirmed their commitment to end gender-based violence, including harmful practices that hinder women development by increasing collaboration with women-led civil society organizations across Iraq, the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, as well as by enhancing women’s political engagement and supporting their meaningful contribution in decision making at all levels and across all sectors.

For more information:

UN Women: Mr. Musab Othman, Partnership & Programme Analyst ; musab.othman@unwomen.org  

UNFPA: Ms Salwa Moussa; Communications Specialist ; smoussa@unfpa.org