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IF successfully implemented the 1st PEDP project workshop to train civc leaders from June 2-6 in Beirut, Lebanon. The 24 participants included university deans, academics, journalists and other media and civil society representatives. The workshop focused on the methodology for writing reports that assess governance, accountability and transparency to influence policymakers and the government.

Participants were asked to identify their priorities for an assessment of accountability and transparency and came up with three main topics that they agreed to report on: Freedom of the press, parliament performance, and political parties. They also identified preliminary indicators for assessing these 3 main topics. The workshop included open discussion and group exercises. Discussions were lively and points of view reflected the participants’ background and geographical diversity. Many participants voiced their satisfaction with the material covered. Dr Moufid Zanoun, Dean of the Political Science department at Mosul University declared that he was going to encourage including some of the concepts learned in the department’ curricula.

The workshop was covered by Al-Sabah and Arab Metro newspapers.

It was agreed that network members would be divided into 3 groups, each group, working on one of the topic of their expertise. Participants also agreed to form a coordination committee composed of one representative from each group and an IF staff member. A “rapporteur” will be chosen within each group, commissioned to draft the reports and analyze the data. During the next period, civic leaders will work on refining the indicators and start collecting data for the report.

In collaboration with Freedom House, IF will mentor the civic leaders throughout the process and will conduct a follow-up training to further guide them and address any challenges.

Letter Submitted to the General Secretariat for Council of Ministers by the State Ministry for Women Affairs. Arabic and English included. State-Ministry-for-Women-Affairs-Letter-English

State-Ministry-for-Women-Affairs-Arabic-Letter

Signatures of Parliamentarians on WEL Reforms

Social care code 126 established 1980

Personal Status code 188 established 1959

Labor code 71 established 1987

Penal 111 code established 1969

Letters submitted by Parliamentarian Sofia Al-Suhail in support of WEL reforms.

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English-Letter-Sofia-Al-Suhail

English translation of legal reforms submitted to the Cabinet as part of the Women for Equitable Legislation (WEL) Project.

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October – December 2013 Update

The Advocacy Coalition Meeting: On October 29th, the advocacy coalition (AC) reconvened to build up the strategic plan for the 2nd stage of the advocacy campaign. 15 NGOs along with the media expert, Emad Jasim, participated in the meeting. AC members shared lessons learned from the 1st stage advocacy campaign and adopted professional insights from the media expert on how to implement a more effective advocacy campaign.

Conducting the 2nd stage of the advocacy campaign
IF in collaboration with the WEL taskforce successfully conducted the 2nd  stage of the advocacy campaign, which aimed at bringing draft laws and related issues to the attention of local community leaders. The WEL task force included: legislators who supported WEL activities, governmental officials, legal experts and the 15 partner NGOs (13 in each province + 2 in Baghdad).
In the AC, IF in collaboration with the WEL taskforce successfully conducted:

  •  6068 radio spots (5868 free broadcasting) that covered WEL proposed legislations and were aired on 15 local radio stations all over the country
  •  22,702 signatures collected exceeding the 2000 proposed in the extension period
  •  30 30-minute radio call-in shows (2 in each province) on 15 local radio stations all over the country
  •  24 30-second TV ads and 3 45-minute TV programs broadcasted from Al Iraqia (official government channel)
  •  15 panel discussions (one in each province) attended by core members from the provinces including Provincial Council members, Moderate religious and traditional leaders, and local professionals;
  •  5977 surveys been collected all over the country supporting the reforms
  •  1420 supporting emails from all 15 provinces
  •  73 votes on the WEL website

The campaign successfully created greater stakeholder buy-in surrounding the draft laws to be presented to Parliament.

Press Conference: The Press Conference was held in collaboration with Safia Al Souhail Literary and Cultural Salon on December 27th and aimed at capturing the success of the WEL reforms. The press conference was attended by legislators, representatives of the Prime Minister office, the Secretariat Council of Ministers, Provincial Council members, Ministries officials, and CSOs.  The press conference was broadcasted live on Al Jazeera and was well covered by local media.

To view the letter submitted by the State Ministry for Women Affairs to the General Secretariat for Council of Ministers, click here. The English translation is available here.

To view the letter submitted by Parlimentarian, Sofia Al Suhail to the Speaker of the ICOR and the names of the Parliamentarians that signed in support of proposed reforms, click here. The English translation is availablehere.

Selected Photos:

Advocacy Coalition Meeting:

Conducting the 2nd stage of the advocacy campaign


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Press Conference:

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IF Holds 5th Roundtable Meeting to Further Identify Gaps in Iraqi Legislation that Impact Women’s Rights: September 2013

The Iraq Foundation (IF) successfully conducted the 5th roundtable discussion which aimed at presenting the suggested reforms and its impact on women’s rights which is guaranteed in Sharia and the Iraqi constitution as well as the international declarations. 55 legislators from the Iraqi council of representative (ICOR) and provincial councils as well as judges, legal experts from the executive branch, religious clerks, civil society members and members of media attended the roundtable. The roundtable focused on providing support for these reforms and for using the media as a tool to raise the public awareness on the importance of these reforms to attain equitable legislation for women. The roundtable was attended by IF executive director, Ms. Rend Al-Rahim and chaired by Dr. Nawar Al Zubaidy, legal advisor at the ICOR. The roundtable was well covered by the local and national media.

Selected Photos:



Ms. Bushra Zwaine, PM advisor on women issue, signed letter in support of WEL reforms, stating that these reforms meet Iraqi women’s requirements and that she will not hesitate to provide any support needed to implement these reforms.

MPs from the Women committee in the ICOR signed to indicate their support of WEL reforms, specifically stating that Article 380 in the Penal Code need to be amended according to IF suggestions.

During this reporting period, the Iraq Foundation (IF) conducted the Advocacy Campaign (AC) which included a media campaign that covered and highlighted the efforts of the Iraq Foundation and the WEL task force which included legislators who supported WEL activities, government officials, legal experts and IF partner NGOs.

Through the AC, IF produced 8 public information radio spots that covered WEL’s proposed legislations. Spots were aired 1560 times on local radio stations all over the country.  IF also distributed 7500 brochures and posters advocating for legal reforms to protect women’s rights. The brochures and posters were distributed to IF’s 16 partner NGOs and subsequently, to the public. In addition, AC members crafted and disseminated 20 press releases in their respective provinces to enhance understanding of the rationale behind the reform measures and build up support for the suggested improvements.

IF in collaboration with the partner NGOs collected over 28415 signatures, conducted 50 advocacy meetings with parliamentarians, Provincial members, tribal leaders and government officials to highlight the need to amend, repeal or draft new laws to bridge the gaps in the Iraqi legal system with special emphasis on women issues. The campaign also included broadcasting of live radio programs on Al Rasheed Station to support the campaign. Programs hosted members of WEL taskforce to enhance understanding of the rationale behind the reform measures and build up support for the suggested improvements.

As part of IF’s efforts to present the draft legislation or amendments to existing legislation that is prepared by WEL experts and taskforce to the Parliament, several meetings were conducted to ensure the best method for these laws to reach the parliament among these methods:  A follow up meeting to the fourth roundtable hosted by MP Sofia Al Souhail and attended by IF Executive Director, Ms. Rend Al Rahim, MP Intisar Al Jiboury, MP Huda Sajjad, Bushra Zwaini, advisor, PM office, Qasim Al Zamily, legal advisor to the State Ministry of Women, WEL Project Manager Ms. Suhaila Al Asady and Ghadeer Al Zubaaidy, legal advisor, Secretariat Council of Ministers

Selected Photos:

Photos of Advocacy Campaign

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Photos of Meetings

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The Iraq Foundation (IF) conducted the fourth roundtable meeting, which aimed at presenting the draft legislation including amendments to the existing legislation prepared by experts to Participants. The roundtable meeting included legislators and representatives from related ministries and was conducted in collaboration with Safia Al Souhail Literary and Cultural Salon in Baghdad.

More than 80 participants attended the meeting including IF’s Executive Director Ms. Rend Al Rahim, legislators, former parliamentarians, high profile officials, US embassy members, UN officials and civil activists.

The event was also covered by the media, and captured by Al Fayhaa Satellite Channel on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AK9CHBtiExI

Furthermore, as part of IF’s effort to present the draft legislation and amendments to the existing legislation prepared by WEL experts to the governmental officials, WEL project manager Ms. Suhaila Al Asady and WEL advisor Juge Raheem Al Uagaily met with H.E Minister of labor and social affairs Mr. Nassar Al Rubai’ay. The WEL team presented the state shelters for the girls draft law, and explained how it is related to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA). The WEL team shared the task force’s opinion, that this law should be part of the Social Welfare (Act No.126 of 1980). The team also discussed the item drafted by WEL experts on sexual harassment in the workplace, stating that this law should be part of the Labor Code (Act No.71 of 1987).

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In January, the WEL team conducted a prep meeting with WEL advisor Judge Rahim Al Ugaily, and WEL research expert Mr. Ryadh Ibraheem. The meeting aimed at putting together a work plan on upcoming project activities.

In February, the WEL staff held preliminary meetings with partner NGOs to put together a unified advocacy campaign. This campaign will include locating posters, deciding on brochure distribution locations, planning advocacy meetings and particpants selection, agreeing on the content of the radio spots and deciding how to handle the signature campaign.

Selected Photos:

January Meeting:

February Meeting:

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