Conference & Roundtable Discussion on Women’s Participation in Elections Based on Insight from Various Ethnoreligious Leaders

On April 3, 2024, Accepting Others Organization (AOO), in collaboration with the KRG’s Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs and the High Council for Women and Development (HCWD), successfully hosted the “Conference & Roundtable Discussion on Women’s Participation in Elections Based on Insight from Various Ethnoreligious Leaders.”

Alisha Robinson, AOO’s Program Director, delivered an opening speech, emphasizing the significance of recognizing the challenges faced by women, particularly ethnoreligious minorities, in political and decision-making processes within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

The event commenced with welcoming remarks from Ms. Chro Mohammed Salih, Head of Programs for the HCWD, followed by a keynote address from Mr. Zainaddin Mawlood Khidhir, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs, and a special speech from Mr. Sarmad Mubarak, Middle East Program Director for Cordaid organization.

The main event featured a Panel Discussion entitled “Enhancing Engagement: Religious Leaders Amplifying Women’s Voices in Elections”. Diverse insights on women in politics and the electoral process were shared by various ethnoreligious leaders, representatives, and scholars.

The panel consisted of Dr. Abdullah Said Waysi, Head of the Union of Islamic Religious Scholars in Kurdistan, Mr. Karim Suliman, Yazidi Representative, Mr. Ziya Shaba, Priest of Catholic Court in Erbil, and Dr. Solaf Kakei, Professor at Salahaddin University in Erbil, College of Law and Political Science, and was mediated by Mr. Khadir Domly.

A dynamic Q&A session followed, allowing guests to actively engage with the panelists, sharing insights and posing pertinent questions. Subsequently, roundtable discussions were conducted, enabling participants to collaborate in formulating recommendations aimed at empowering women for effective participation in political leadership roles.

AOO was excited to welcome nearly 140 guests and participants, representing various government offices, UN agencies, international and local organizations, and women activists, with several coming from ethnoreligious minority backgrounds, who attended the conference and participated in roundtable discussions. The event garnered coverage from 17 media outlets across the KRI and federal Iraq, highlighting the significance and diversity of this conference.

AOO concluded the event by offering a special iftar meal to speakers, panellists, and guests in observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

AOO would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the High Council for Women & Development for their continuous support, not only to AOO, but for the meaningful and lifechanging work they do to empower women across all aspects of society within the KRI.

Additionally, AOO would like to give a special thanks to Cordaid organization, whose unwavering support has been instrumental in facilitating today’s event, alongside UKAID and the Government of Canada. Cordaid has demonstrated remarkable dedication over the past few years in collaborating with AOO, by making significant contributions to support numerous projects that provide much needed services and information to women across Iraq and the KRI.

Published On: May 17th, 2024 / Categories: Advocacy, Updates /