Who We Are

Accepting Others Organization (AOO)

Accepting Others Organization (AOO) is a non-governmental, non-profit, and non-religious organization founded in 2014. Led by women and youth, our organization operates across federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Our core mission is to promote and protect human rights, with a strong emphasis on advancing the rights, safety, protection, and empowerment of women throughout the country.

AOO is deeply committed to fostering peaceful coexistence by cultivating tolerance and collaboration among diverse segments of society. Our work centers on peacebuilding, coexistence, social cohesion, and community engagement. We firmly believe that by bringing people together and encouraging dialogue, we can create a harmonious and inclusive society.

One of our key areas of expertise lies in raising awareness and advocating for the implementation of crucial frameworks. AOO actively supports the Iraqi National Action Plan II (INAP II), the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250), and the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. By promoting the adoption of these frameworks, we strive to ensure gender equality, enhance the participation of women and youth in peacebuilding processes, and address the unique challenges faced by women and youth in conflict-affected areas.

Additionally, AOO provides valuable support to both governmental and non-governmental entities in developing policies that uphold freedom, gender equality, social justice, and political participation for women. We work in alignment with international standards, determined to establish comprehensive policies that safeguard the rights of all individuals to create a just and equitable society.

Through our dedicated efforts, AOO aims to create a transformative impact on the ground. We believe in the power of collaboration and community engagement to drive positive change. By working hand in hand with various stakeholders, AOO contributes to building a society that values diversity, promotes inclusivity, and empowers women and youth to play an active role in shaping their communities.

Creating a Bright Future Together
AOO for women’s Rights and Social Cohesion

Organizational Capacity

AOO is a women’s rights organization with its headquarters located in Erbil, within the KRI. Our primary focus is providing essential services to the most vulnerable populations in every governorate across Iraq.

To ensure effective organizational management, AOO has a well-defined structure that includes a Board of Trustees, President, Chief Executive Director, Director of Programs, and Director of Operations, HR, and Finance. Our dedicated team consists of eighteen permanent members, comprising 17 local staff and one expatriate staff member. Additionally, we engage specialized staff on a project basis to meet specific needs. AOO’s permanent staff members possess a wealth of experience, with an average of five to twenty years of expertise in areas such as women’s rights, human rights, GBV/(S)GBV prevention and protection, child protection, humanitarian and relief work, livelihood support, sustainability, and management.

AOO takes pride in being a women and youth-led organization. Our President is a woman, and out of the five members of our Board of Trustees, four are female. We also prioritize empowering youth and enabling their growth within the humanitarian sector. More than half of our eighteen permanent staff members are under 35 years of age, reflecting our commitment to supporting and promoting the active participation of young individuals, with female participation exceeding 70 percent.

Through our diverse and experienced team, as well as our emphasis on gender equality and youth empowerment, AOO is well-equipped to effectively address the critical issues surrounding the rights of women and youth, and advocate for positive change within our communities.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

AOO has implemented robust Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the successful implementation of our programs in accordance with international standards. These SOPs have been developed by our senior staff, reviewed, and confirmed by our Board of Trustees, sector-specific consultants, and designed to ensure compliance & transparency, allowing AOO to uphold the highest standards in its operations and delivery of services. They cover a range of areas, including but not limited to:


Our Bylaws manual defines the organizational structure, roles, and expectations, including the Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers. It reflects our goals of promoting dialogue, tolerance, and defending human rights, women’s rights, and supporting youth.

Human Resources (HR)

Our HR manual outlines policies, conditions, and rights for employees, including our Code of Conduct including PSEA, Anti-Corruption Policy, Gender Policy, Health and Safety procedures, Sexual Harassment policies, reporting procedures, Staff Disciplinary Policy, and Communications Policy.

Finance and Administration

Our Finance manual establishes procedures for financial accountability, compliance, record-keeping, asset management, auditing, and reporting.

Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain

We have a Procurement manual that ensures efficient and transparent procurement processes, including safety and security guidelines, fleet management, and office management procedures.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL)

Our MEAL manual outlines tools and processes for monitoring and evaluating projects, ensuring adherence to quality, quantity, and timelines. It includes feedback/evaluation forms for beneficiaries and mechanisms for learning and improvement.

Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)

AOO has established procedures to prevent and address SEA, including training for employees, reporting mechanisms, and consequences for misconduct.

Our Vision

AOO envisions a tolerant, democratic, and diverse society that guarantees human rights, with a particular focus on women’s rights, and freedom for all, promoting values of social justice, gender equality, citizenship, and non-violence, especially gender-based violence. AOO stands against all forms of extremism.

Our Mission

AOO is a national NGO, that aims to preserve diversity and gender equality across Iraq by building the capacities of individuals and key stakeholders to resolve conflict and promote peace to ensure coexistence among communities of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds. AOO also works to ensure that adequate policies are developed to safeguard the protection and participation of all communities, particularly for women, girls, and youth.


  • We believe the way to create impactful and lasting change in communities is through developing young leaders, including female young leaders, who are committed to freedom, equality, and justice for all.
  • We believe in the same freedoms for all people, including freedom of women, freedom of movement, and freedom from fear, operation, and violence.
  • We believe that people on all sides of conflict deserve basic human rights – women particularly deserve to enjoy their rights.
  • We believe in our common humanity and the sacred value of each human life. We mourn each person lost due to violence and share the pain and suffering of their families.
  • We believe the future depends on the leadership of the next generation, especially young girls.
  • We empower women and girls, particularly vulnerable women and girls, to find their voice and learn how to use it in a non-violent manner for the benefit of the entire society.
  • We contribute to developing peacebuilding and leadership skills among Iraqi citizens and support ongoing leadership development.
  • We promote intercultural exchange and education at a wider societal level.
  • We adhere to all the international conventions and treaties and consider them as the main source for our vision and work.
  • We uphold the rule of law as a concept that embraces human rights principles without any distinctions between all people or women and men, regardless of ethnic or religious backgrounds.