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The participation of women in political and electoral processes in Iraq has been hampered by numerous factors, despite Iraqi women’s determination to engage in the public sphere. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Iraq Foundation and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) conducted research between October 2019 and February 2020 aimed at documenting and understanding the challenges and unmet needs of women who run for elected public office. Five governorates, namely Baghdad, Basra, Ninewa, Najaf and Salah Al Din, were selected for assessment because they offer representative diversity in terms of demographic, social and political environments.



Our project leaders conducting a workshop for Iraqi women











Shatha Saif Addeen Aldawoudi
25 year old
Kirkuk Province
B.A in law from the University of Kirkuk

“I am one of the trainees in the training workshop that addressed women’s political participation. I benefited a great deal from the workshop: I acquired strength, will power, perseverance, and courage, and learned that women have a heard voice and strength. From this strength and drive, I now have the ability strive to become a leader and participate in the political process. Although I am a lawyer, I lacked a lot (of skills), and now with this training I believe I am on the right path.”





Tamara Khalil
27 years old
Salaheddin Province,
B.A. Accounting

“It was an exceptional training workshop. I wasn’t anticipating being accepted but fortunately I was selected and I did very well. I benefited a lot and I gained knowledge and skills in leadership, advocacy, and media presence. After I completed my training I met with a number of NGOs, and I was selected as a coordinators for a program that trains election monitors for 2021, implemented by the Peace and Freedom Organization. Thank you for granting me this opportunity!”






Phase 1 Full Report: October 1, 2019 – February 15, 2020

Phase 2 Narrative Report: April 1, 2020 – November 15, 2020


With Support from the United Nations Mission to Iraq (UNAMI), and technical assistance from the Economic and Social Council for West Asia (ESCWA), the Iraq Foundation successfully completed Phase One and Phase Two of its project “Strengthening Women’s Political Participation in Iraq”. IF is pleased to release two publications from this project. The first, “Women Running for Elected Office in Iraq: Needs and Challenges”, is a needs-assessment study based on extensive interviews with current and former women MPs, provincial council members, and candidates, as well as women’s organizations, civil society actors, and focus groups. The interviews were accompanied by a review of the legislative foundations for women’s participation in Iraq’s elected bodies. The second report, “Promoting Women’s Political Participation in Iraq”, is a policy brief that takes a holistic approach to women’s political participation, examining the constitutional, political, legislative, economic, and cultural factors that impede women’s full participation in public life, and provides policy recommendations to the Iraqi government and parliament, political parties, local and international organizations, and the media. The Iraq Foundation wishes to thank the following: Dr. Soumaya Ibrahim for her authorship of needs-assessment study; Ms. Manar Zaiter for her authorship of the policy brief; UNAMI, for their consistent support of the project and review of the reports; and ESCWA for providing technical and editorial assistance.

Please find the links to the two publications below:

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Conduct a training and provide tools on monitoring of the implementation of the Second NAP 1325 for Iraq


After the government’s adoption of the Second National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 for Iraq on Women, Peace and Security in late December 2020, the Iraqi Parliament – and in particular the women’s committee – is now expected to play a key role in monitoring and evaluating its implementation.

The Iraq Foundation (IF), an independent NGO working in Iraq since 2003, is supporting the women’s committee and women MPs in a project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which aims at making the policy and legislative process in Iraq more responsive to the needs and concerns of Iraqi citizens, and at improving gender equality in policies and enhancing women’s political leadership.[1] To provide that support for women MPs, IF provides training workshops on gender-sensitive legislation and political leadership skills. IF also supports the women’s committee to create and implement processes for monitoring Iraq’s international commitments that aim to promote women’s rights, including CEDAW and UNSCR 1325.

IF has been closely involved in monitoring the first and developing the second NAP 1325. In the context of the Sida project, we have already held a webinar-conference for women MPs on UNSCR 1325, and Second NAP for Iraq in September 2020. That virtual conference connected women MPs with specialized women civil society organizations, with UN Women and other UN organizations, and with the governmental Women Empowerment Department to discuss local, regional and international perspectives of implementation of UNSCR 1325. IF now plans to hold a training workshop with women MPs in February, 2021 in Erbil on monitoring and evaluating the Second NAP 1325 for Iraq. The one-day session on the Second NAP 1325 will be followed by a post-workshop Zoom-training (2 to 3 hours) in March, 2021.

The Iraq Foundation seeks to contract an Arabic-speaking Expert to develop a toolkit for parliamentarians to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Second NAP 1325 in Iraq and conduct the related training (in-person and with one Zoom-session). As an outcome of the training and the tools provided, women MPs must have the knowledge and capability to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Second NAP with focus on the work of the government, but also the work of civil society and other stakeholders.

Specific Terms of Reference

  1. Develop a toolkit for monitoring and evaluating the Second NAP (handbook/guide, complemented by forms for evaluation and reporting, other tools required for M&E), and submit them for prior review to IF.
  2. Create an agenda for the two-parts training on M&E of the NAP 1325 and submit for prior approval to IF.
  3. Hold the one-day training in Erbil in February 2021 (mid- or late February)
  4. Conduct the post-workshop Zoom-session in March 2021 (2 to 3 hours)

Scope of Work

  1. The training agenda should be designed to provide knowledge, methods and skills, include interactive elements, practical exercises and time for Q&A.
  2. The tools for monitoring the NAP, such as a handbook or guide complemented by forms for evaluation and reporting, and other tools required for M&E ,should allow participants to evaluate and report on the work of government, civil society and other stakeholders in implementing the NAP, with regards to WPS being a cross-cutting issue for different sectors of government and parliament.
  3. The post-workshop Zoom session would review the training held in Erbil, allow for Q&A and add more aspects and/or skills to the monitoring and evaluation program.

Specific Deliverables

  1. Agenda, learning material and toolkit (see above) for parliamentarians to monitor and evaluate the implementation of NAP 1325 in Iraq.
  2. One-day training in Erbil in February 2021.
  3. Post-workshop Zoom-session in March 2021 (2 to 3 hours).
  4. An evaluation report.

Required Skills and experience

  1. Proven track-record of projects related to gender equality and women’s rights in the MENA region. Please attach documentation of 2 projects.
  2. Previous experience in research and training on UNSCR 1325 and other international conventions on Women, Peace and Security.
  3. Proven knowledge and skills in Monitoring and Evaluation of international agreements or resolutions, preferably on women’s rights.
  4. Demonstrated knowledge and skills in providing training for policy-makers from the MENA region.
  5. Preferred: previous work with UN agencies or international NGOs.
  6. Fluency in Arabic.

Remuneration: $ 5,000 (Five thousands USD)

Any travel expenses associated with this ToR are included in the remuneration. Accommodation and per diem will be borne by IF.

Deadline for receiving applications: February 4, 2021.

Please respond to:,, with a copy to

[1] The activity is part of the project of the Iraq Foundation and its partner Global Partners Governance (GPG), “Improving Policy, Service Delivery, Gender Equality and Responsiveness to Iraqi Citizens” (2018-2021).

The team at the Iraq Foundation wishes everyone a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Twitter :


Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325

On September 3, 2020, Iraq Foundation, in cooperation with UN Women, the Women Empowerment Department, Women MPs, with funding from the Swedish Development Agency, held a focused meeting on Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Second National Action Plan, in the presence of the First Lady, Dr. Sarbagh Salih, and a number of distinguished members of the House of Representatives and regional and international experts.




See the application below for more details!

Application for Training (Arabic)

The Iraq Foundation blesses the move of the Council of Ministers approving the draft law on protection from family violence.

Thanks to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers – Women Empowerment Department

Chair and members of the Parliamentary Committee for Women, Family and Childhood

And everyone who worked and contributed for the purpose of ratifying this law.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the Middle East, Iraq Foundation has begun taking precautions to ensure that its staff in Washington D.C. and Iraq remain safe. Notably, as the pandemic was emerging, the Iraqi government announced restrictions on the mobility of people within Iraq and banned travel to and from the country. In response, Iraq Foundation has made updates to its Risk Management framework and has implemented a new risk reporting form specifically for COVID-19.

Our Risk Management framework, updated as of April 2020, rates the likelihood of a risk occurring and how serious the impact would be on a scale from 1-5. From there, we calculate a combined score by multiplying the two responses together, to give an overall risk rating which indicates the overall severity of the risk. The overall rating can range from 1 to 25. IF’s Country Manager Dhefaf Al Jarahi assessed the COVID-19 pandemic and concluded that the risk probability shall be rated a 5/5 and the risk impact shall be rated a 4/5 giving an overall risk rating of 20.

Ms. Jarahi noted that direct communication and engagement with IF partners and beneficiaries is still possible through digital platforms. Thus, operations on IF’s Improving Policy, Service Delivery, Gender Equality, and Responsiveness to Iraqi Citizens project will continue as planned.

The consequences posed by COVID-19 on IF’s current project, being completed in tandem with GPG and funded by SIDA, are as follows: IF staff will need to work remotely; all meetings and activities with partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries will not take place in-person. Once the curfew in Iraq has been lifted, IF’s staff will begin using the office on a limited basis with social distancing precautions. 

To mitigate the impact of these consequences, IF has examined which activities and meetings are capable of being shifted to an online platform and which ones must be delayed until after the crisis. Attached here, you can view Ms. Jarahi’s full assessment.

By Zaid Fattah

Photo Credits: Anadolu Agency