The Consultative Meeting was held in (Dawa)hotel in Sulaimaniyah and attended by a number of government figures, representatives of civil society organizations, journalists, and political party
members to discuss the content of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the possibility of activating this resolution through developing a comprehensive national plan to strengthen the position of women in society.
The Consultative meeting was opened by the welcoming speech of Ms. (DllbeckTahir),a member of Friends of Peace in Sulaymaniyah followed by a session where participants introduced to each other.
Ms. Narmeen Othman, the former Minister of Women in Iraq talked about some of the statistics in Kurdistan Region as indications that we have already started working on the Resolution 1325. She also mentioned the proposals that should be pursued in the Kurdistan region on the implementation of the Resolution 1325.
Ms. Narmeen reminded the history of Kurdish people and referred to UNSCR1325 as a tool that can be used to guarantee security and peace for women, protection of their rights and the rights of women that pass through destructive wars such as South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina …etc.
She also pointed to the need to prosecute offenders and no impunity. These are important aspects of the resolution and women’s participation in the political and decision-making processes. She also referred to the significance of gender training at all levels. She noted some statistics as indicators of progress of women in the Kurdistan region and the laws that have been legislated and modified. “The problem is that women at the grassroots level in Kurdistan still need lots of social, security and legal protection to improve their situation as the rest of the women in the world.”
Mrs. Mahabat Mohamed Amin, a member of Friends of Peace made an overview of Friends of Peace Group, its main goals and activities, including periodic meetings and visits the women in the camps in the border areas that were bombarded (Mount Qandil)… etc. she also reminded about the memorandum they sent to the government in April 2011 against the exclusion women in the quintet negotiations in Kurdistan Region; this in addition to defending women who were victims of political conflicts during the last election.
Ms. Amira Hassan, a member of Friends of Peace focused on the group’s networking and connections internationally.She briefed the participants on the work of the civil society so far towards developing a NAP 1325 and the process that led to the forming of the I-NAP1325 Initiative and the concrete work with IFE-EFI towards developing the NAP. She then explained why a NAP is needed and gave argumentation from all aspects.
– Ms. Tania Kamal, from Friends of Peace focused on the important role the women’s organizations play to activate of the Resolution 1325. She stressed the importance of planning and coordinatingthe work toward the implementation of 1325 and in this regards the need to develop a NAP to address the concrete needs of women.
Open discussionfollowed during which the following points were lifted:
- A member of the provincial council has heard for the first time of the resolution and promised to convince the provincial council to support the civil society in their work towards developing a NAP.
- Sarkawt Director of the Department of Tracing Violence against Women in Sulaymaniyah underlined that reducing violenceagainst women within the strategy of on reducing violence against women is the core of the Resolution 1325 and expressed the commitment of his department to work on the resolution supporting the development of a concrete NAP. A successful NAP should include reconciliation, sheltering women, free legal counseling and coordinate with the courts but also raising awareness of the courts.
The participants then divided into five working groups:
– Laws Group
– Local government and parliament group
– Security and women’s military unit Group
– Organizations Group
– Media Group.
Results from the working groups:
- Enact laws that are consistent with the principles of human rights and harmonized with international treaties and in accordance with the Constitution.
- Amending constitutions also according to the criteria mentioned – iinternational standards for women’s rights
- Law enforcement.
- Lobbying and putting pressure on the government and local authorities to amend the legislations and encourage law enforcement.
- Address impunity of the perpetrators: they should not escape punishment, instead they are criminals; lifting the immunities of the officials if needed.
- Taking the opinion of the law specialists and conducting social and psychological researches, when issuing a general amnesty.
- Ensuring non-interference of political parties in the work of the government and the courts (the principle independent judiciary and the rule of law).
- Activating the role of the public prosecution.
- Security and Military:
In Kurdistan region, there is a significant number of women in the police, traffic and internal security forces and special military unit belonging to the Ministry of Defense. Recommendation for the NAP:
- Increase the number of women in the areas mentioned above (via quota)
- Involve women in training and rehabilitation programs.
- Raise awareness and raise the perception of men that women are not inferior, not least when it comes to police, security and military.
- The allocation of seats for women in the postgraduate programs and martial arts skills development programs and capabilities in military sectors.
- Government and Parliament
- Follow up and monitor the implementation of laws and resolutions in the executive body and imposing accountability.
- Setting up a special court for domestic violence cases and holding accountable the governmental departments in the implementation of responsibilities towards the Anti-Domestic Violence Law.
- Kurdistan Region’s specificities need to be considered in the development of the national plan.
- Involve women in delegations and missions and Commissions inside as well as outside Kurdistan.
- Activate departments concerned to confront violence (Department to combat violence against women).
- Increase the number of women in the judicial police, detention centers and social reform institutions.
- Increase women’s participation in decision-making positions.
- Raise the proportion of women’s quota in parliament and local councils to (50%) with imposing efficiencies conditions away from favoritism and Compliance Policy (the right person in the right place).
- Support organizations working on human rights, women’s rights and children.
- Decentralize powers to the provincial departments to ensure the flexibility of labor and restructuring of state institutions.
- Increase legal awareness programs on women’s and children’s rights in all media outlets.
- Support women publications such as newspapers, magazines, reports and research on women or that are issued by women.
- Activate the follow-up and monitoring mechanism in the Ministry of Culture and TV and Radio stations to raise the quality of programs and not the quantity.
- Support the women artists and making the women’s art (theater, acting and songs) in the service of women’s issues and the society.
- Give a true picture of the society and its problems through art and find appropriate solutions.
- Publish university researches of students and professors through different media and establishing scientific research centers.
- Staying away from belittling women’s issues and try to reverse the look of the inferiority of women in the media.
The meeting ended with emphasizing the importance of having a NAPfor implementation of the Resolution 1325 and all the participants reiterated their support for each case depending on their locations and thus the meeting concluded at 4:30 pm.