Al-Rasid Project

Awarded: October 2014
Scheduled Completion: August 2016

 

Al-Rasid (meaning “the monitor” in Arabic) has the goal of supporting Iraq’s National Action Plan (NAP) of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) and aims to holistically address gender based violence (GBV) in Iraq. The Project is funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour.

It targets national and provincial stakeholders, female victims of violence (including women displaced as the result of conflict), community members, and Iraqi society at large in order to build national and local capacity for the implementation of the NAP and raise awareness on increased protections that can be provided to victims of GBV, including boys and men.

 

The NAP and Why It Matters

UNSCR 1325 is a resolution expressing commitment to the inclusion of women and gender perspectives in peacebuilding efforts, and to the reduction of gender-based violence (GBV), particularly sexual violence against women and girls.

Adopting the National Strategy for the Advancement of Women (NS) in 2013 indicates that the Government of Iraq (GOI)’s hopes Iraqi society is ready to combat the legal, social, and economic challenges faced by women. Women in Iraq face high levels of gender-based violence (GBV), even by regional standards. With almost 55% of women affected by GBV in diverse forms, and increased violence against women due to the crimes committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) the need to address the phenomenon in Iraqi society is only rising.  The 2014 launch of the National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325 also points to an acknowledgment of the importance of women in the peacebuilding process and a concerted interest in finding ways to include them in upcoming initiatives designed to create stability, especially in light of the recent violence and destabilization caused by ISIS activities.

Al-Rasid’s Approach

Al-Rasid’s approach is to form two civil society groups: a National Task Force (NTF) to evaluate government implementation of the NAP and Provincial Action Task Forces (PATFs), which will build on women’s caucuses and local coalitions to implement the NAP locally. It also seeks to raise the awareness of and coordinate with local and national authorities, and to give voice to women who are victims of gender-based violence and discrimination in the process.

This approach can be broken down into the following objectives:

Objective 1: Create a mechanism for the monitoring and evaluation of government implementation of the National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 and generate support from all relevant actors.

Objective 2: Build the capacity of national and local actors to implement the NAP and address GBV.

Objective 3: Raise awareness and advocate for increased protections for victims of GBV and access to justice issues, including among boys and men.

Accomplishments

Al-Rasid is still being implemented; however, updates with regard to project activities and achievements can be found in the sidebar to the left, and on our blog. Thus far, Al-Rasid has made the following progress:

  1. Joining the official committee for implementing the NAP formed by the ministry of women.
  2. Holding a three-day workshop at Al-Mansour Hotel in Baghdad, which came to a close on Wednesday March 18, 2015 IF executive director Ms. Basma Fakri, 36 government officials (including MPs and senior officials), and 50 cross-sectorial group of civil society actors and task force members from the five provinces of  Erbil, Ninwa plain , Baghdad, Babil and Basrah were in attendance. The workshop focused on provisions for implementation and monitoring of the NAP.
  3. Partnering with 5 local NGOs, each of which held trainings on recommendations and steps forward in the implementation of the NAP their respective provinces.  Trainers were drawn from the taskforce formed during the workshop in Baghdad.
  4. Training 344 local actors on the NAP to form a Provincial Task Force in Erbil (comprised of 86 people, 23 female and 73 male), Ninewa Plain (comprised of 60 people, 26 female and 34 male) , Baghdad (comprised of 41 people, 10 female and 41 male), Babil (comprised of 93 people, 35 female and 58 male) and Basrah (comprised of 65 people, 31 female and 34 male)
  5. Training 86 government officials and civil society activists on the NAP and M&E processes.
  6. Working in coordination with Entisar Ali al-Jubouri, head of the Women and Children parliamentary committee, held a daylong workshop for newly elected officials inside the House of Representatives building on May 24th 2015. Forty-two government officials attended the meeting, and discussed various topics such as the specific protection needs of women and girls in conflict zones. Additionally, they focused on promoting women’s participation in addressing gender perspectives in peace processes, and discussed the value of empowering women and girls as active agents in peace and security. The workshop resulted in the drafting of ten recommendations to empower women, which will be presented to the cabinet in June.
Last Update: July 22, 2015