Blog Archives

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.

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January Meeting:

February Meeting:



On December 13, 2012, IF conducted the Advocacy Coalition (AC) Meeting. The goal of the meeting was to familiarize partners with proposed reforms, provide feedback, agree on concrete advocacy plans, and prepare a unified advocacy campaign. The meeting was headed by Ms. Rend Al Rahim, IF’s Executive Director, and attended by 18 NGOs and civic leaders from Baghdad and other provinces. The meeting was also attended by some NGOs from Kurdistan as they expressed huge interest to share their experience from previous AC initiatives in the region (please refer to the AC meeting list of attendees attached).  Ms. Al Rahim presented what has been done so far on the WEL project and the suggested reforms. IF‘s partners shared their experience and provided feedback on the WEL advocacy campaign. IF and partner NGOs developed the following tools for the WEL advocacy campaign:

  •  Select different parties that present reforms to the ICOR
  •  Target influential decision makers
  •  Create a liaison committee from all provinces
  •  Form a strong partnership with the local media
  •  Issue a newspaper that updates the public on the AC activities
  •  Create local teams that carryout surveys mobilize and rally the public
  •  Conduct local activities in each province (meetings, workshops, radio spots, press releases, etc.)
  •  Target ICOR members who represent their provinces.

Finally, Ms. Al Rahim conducted a voting for the partners on the option to participate in the coalition and support the reforms or not. The voting was unanimously approved.

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On November 17, 2012, the Iraq Foundation (IF) conducted an initial meeting for the bill drafting process. IF invited legal experts, judges and professors to review the WEL taskforce recommendations on laws that discriminate against women and assist in the interpretation process of these recommendations into effective bills. Attendees included:

  •  Ali Rufaie, Former Dean, Law College – Baghdad University
  •  Ali Fauzi, Professor, Law College – Baghdad University
  •  Judge Hadi Aziz, Retired Judge
  •  Ahmed Al Mainy, Advisor, Shura Council
  •  Firas Zuhair, Advisor, ICOR
  •  Ali Omar, Advisor, ICOR
  •  Sabah Al Kerboli, Political Advisor, ICOR

Attendees discussed the nine articles selected by the WEL taskforce and its social and cultural heritage. The attendees also discussed potential experts, who will be able to carry out the professional bill drafting task.

On November 21, 2012, IF was invited by Mr. Sabah Al Kerboli, Political Advisor, Office of the Presidency, ICOR, for a follow up meeting in the ICOR to discuss further the laws selected by the WEL taskforce.  Mr. Al Kerboli showed a potential interest in the State shelters draft law. The next step will be conducting a meeting for the stakeholders (State Ministry for Women, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Finance and Women, Family and Childhood committee in the ICOR). This meeting will also include some of the shelter residents to discuss their needs and means to reflect them in the drafted bill. IF will following the same strategy on the other selected laws as well.

IF identified four legal experts to be in the Bill drafting committee:

  •  Judge Rahim Al Ugaily, Higher Judicial Council, Former Head, Commission of Integrity (COI)
  •  Ahlam Al Lamy, Board Member, Iraqi Bar Association
  •  Hisham Al Ftyan, Lawyer, Iraqi Bar Association
  •  Hamid Al Sakban, Lawyer, Iraqi Bar Association

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WEL was profiled in Al-Sabah newspaper. The headline reads “Women for Equitable Legislation Project Aims to Increase Legal Rights.”

Please refer to the WEL project website in Arabic for updates on activities!

On September 22 & 23 2012, IF held the WEL Lessons Learned Meeting at Erbil International Hotel in Erbil. Over 50 participants attended the meeting including Iraqi lawmakers and legal experts from the executive and judicial branches, and representatives of civil society organizations from Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces, including the Kurdistan region.  Also, four regional experts from Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon and Jordan attended to exchange and compare methods of advocating and adopting national legislations based on women’s rights. The LL meeting was attended by IF’s Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Selwa Al Gailani.

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IF has a number of new developments to share regarding the WEL project.

On July 12, Ms. Rend Al-Rahim, IF’s Executive Director, met with WEL staff in Baghdad to discuss the upcoming Lessons Learned Meeting in September. Six Iraqi experts provided research documents on laws that were determined by the WEL taskforce as requiring legal action. Five regional experts were identified from countries which had previous initiatives in promoting women rights.

On July 14, Ms. Al-Rahim, met with WEL Legal advisor, Judge Salim Rawdhan, and Iraqi experts to discuss the status of the regional experience report to be submitted by Judge Salim.

Also this month, IF continued working on obtaining the audio of the Bill Drafting Meeting as part of the technical guide IF is producing. IF is also working on identifying a video production company to produce the other portion of the technical guide from the lessons learned meeting.

Stay tuned for updates to the WEL website,!

On April 7 2012, IF held the first part of the WEL bill drafting training at the Alwaiyya club in Baghdad. This “Policy Analysis” meeting aimed at looking at the impact of laws and their social, economic, financial, and political repercussions. Speakers included Dr. Kassem Inaya (Ministry of Planning), Haithem Al-Juburi (MP-Finance Committee) and Judge Salem Rawdan. The meeting was attended by 32 persons including members of Parliament, government officials, legal experts, civil society representatives, and members of the judiciary. The workshop was attended by IF’s Executive Director, Ms. Rend Al-Rahim.

The second part of the bill drafting training took place in Erbil on April 28th & 29th at Van Royal Hotel. This technical part was provided by a variety of experts including head and members of the Kurdistan Shura Council, members and staff of the COR legal committee, and members of the judiciary as well as professors who provided lectures on the technical language.

The activities were chaired by: Judge Salem Rawdan, Sha’ab Personal Status Court and member of the Higher Judicial Council. The meeting was attended by members of the council of representatives, senior government officials, legal experts, professors and civic leaders on women’s issues.

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April 7, 2012: Bill Drafting Workshop, Part One: “Policy Analysis,” Alwayah Club, Baghdad

April 28 – 29: Bill Drafting Workshop, Part Two: “Technical Part,” Van Royal Hotel, Erbil

On April 30 2012, IF held the third roundtable meeting in Erbil at Van Royal Hotel. At this meeting, the WEL taskforce agreed on a series of legislative actions aimed at protecting women’s rights, which include calls to repeal existing laws, suggestions to enforce existing laws or drafting new legislation that helps implement women rights.

The activities were chaired by: Judge Salem Rawdan, Sha’ab Personal Status Court and member of the Higher Judicial Council. The meeting was attended by members of the council of representatives, senior government officials, legal experts, professors and civic leaders on women’s issues.

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IF is pleased to announce that during the month of march, Ms. Suhaila Al-Asady, IF’s Baghdad-based Program Manager, was awarded the distinguished woman medal from the Iraqi bar association medal for her professionalism and enthusiasm as a dedicated lawyer. A photo of her award is available below.

During the month of March, IF worked on preparing for upcoming bill drafting workshop in early April. The workshop will train participants on drafting legislation to respond to the specific needs of Iraqi society and within the Iraqi constitutional framework. The workshop will also train participants on advocacy strategies to win support for their reforms in Parliament.

Throughout the month, WEL staff conducted preparatory meetings with the Her Excellency Ibthal Kasid Al Zaidy, the Minister of Women, and  Judge Salim Rawdan, Member, Higher Judicial Council. Meetings were chaired by IF’s Executive Director, Ms. Rend AlRahim. Other preparations for bill drafting workshops were carried out in coordination with Judge Rawdan and included activities such as: identifying trainers and participants, preparing a draft agenda according to the suggestions of trainers, gathering instructional material from the trainers, and sending invitations, the agenda and any other related materials for the workshop to the participants.

IF continue to perform follow up on the roundtable meetings and Judge Radwan will coordinate with the legal experts, who will provide their research in their area of expertise.

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On February 20, 2012, IF held the second WEL roundtable meeting. The goal of the meeting was to further discuss the outcomes of the first roundtable discussion and to narrow down the options that were identified for legal actions to protect women’s rights. The meeting was chaired by Judge Salem Rawdan and attended by IF’s Executive Director Ms. Rend Al-Rahim as well as 13 legal experts both male and female.

In preparation for the meeting, Judge Rawdan prepared a comprehensive report, based on the outcomes of the first roundtable discussion and including suggestions for legal action. The report was broken down into the three following sections: (1) Suggestions for laws to be revised (including the personal status law, the labor law and the penal code); (2) Suggestions for laws and decisions to be repealed; and (3) Suggestions for laws to be drafted.

Among the legal topics discussed during the meeting were: the definition of the marriage contract, marriage outside the court, the right to custody, and the husband’s right to discipline his wife. Participants agreed on a number of revisions to these laws. Participants also suggested drafting new laws including a law to encourage business owners to hire women through giving them financial incentives for doing so and giving financial rewards for families who support orphans.

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