We are excited to share information on March activities of the Iraq Foundation.
On March 10, Ms. Selwa Gailani took over the position of Executive Director. Ms. Rend Al-Rahim is now serving as the President of the Iraq Foundation! Read more here.
Look for our new website, being launched late April 2014!
Hewar, meaning "dialogue" in Arabic, aims to establish a more transparent and responsive criminal justice system through engaging both the media and citizens to foster greater public awareness of legal rights and the role of courts and trust in judicial processes. Hewar is funded by the US Department of State: Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
On March 25 - 26, staff held the First Stakeholders Meeting with the High Judicial Council (HJC) and key members of the criminal justice system. IF's partner, Lebanese-based Strategic Communication Consultancy (S2C) presented the communication strategy for the HJC. The meeting concluded with a set of recommendations to further develop the draft communication strategy and enhance HJC outreach.
This project is a UN-Women initiative and includes the design and implementation of an internship program for 12 young women leaders from Baghdad and the provinces, who will provide support for 12 women members of parliament engaged in women's issues.
In March, research consultants held three meetings with parliamentary interns to review their research, answer questions and assist in finalizing methodology, findings and recommendations. IF also held three round tables attended by Parliamentarians, including committee members, political party members, the media, and civil society organizations. Interns presented their methods and findings and received feedback to improve their research.
Widows Initiative for Economic Sustainability (WIES)
WIES is funded by the US Department of State Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues. WIES aims to economically empowering over 500 female heads of household in Iraq by building skills, promoting entrepreneurship, and connecting them with employment opportunities.
In March, the WIES-Baghdad team secured 14 grants for women heads of household who participated in job skills training. The grants were used to buy seven sewing kits and seven hair dressing kits!
PEACE is funded by the US Department of State Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues. PEACE seeks to promote peace and end violence through supporting a women-led advocacy and action coalition.
In March, IF reached and exceeded our goal of providing legal assistance for 1,560 victims of gender based violence (GBV) in Baghdad, Erbil, Basra, Diyala and Babil!
IF, partner NGOs and PEACE task force members successfully promoted the Iraqi government to adopt recommendations of the National Charter. On March 06, 2014, the Iraq government represented by the Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri Almaliki adopted a National Plan (2014 - 2018) to implement the Security Council resolution 1325. Iraq is the first country in the middle east to adopts such a national workplan.
According to the UN: "UN Security Council Resolution 1325 reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction"
Technological Advance to Bolster Freedom of Expression in Iraq (TABEIR)
TABEIR, meaning "expression" in Arabic, is funded by the Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA).TABEIR works to provide greater strength and stimulus to efforts in Iraq to change the dynamics surrounding freedom of expression (FOE) and to protect and expand FOE in all forms. TABEIR targets journalists, citizen journalists, activists and NGOs in Iraq.
In March, staff started completed the selection of 10 our on-the-ground partners and worked to identify areas of cooperation with international organizations working on freedom of expression in Iraq.
Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP)
In March, IF concluded the IYLEP program in conjunction with Meridian International Center. IYLEP includes a summer exchange for Iraqi youth in the US.
IF contributed to the project by holding 2 half days of training in Erbil in February for high school and undergraduate student participants in the 2013 exchange. IF provided an overview of our work, community engagement training targeted at each group and a session entitled, "Marketing Yourself for Success" to prepare students for the next stages in their education and/or professional career. Undergraduate students were also trained on elections.