Iraq: Women's Peace-Building Project through Training on Conflict Resolution and Democracy

Iraqi Al-Amal Association
In mid-August 2007, Iraqi Al-Amal Association and the Baghdad Women's Association in partnership with UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services), completed the project “Peace Building through Training on Conflict Resolution and Democracy”.
The principle components of the project included training in:
· Conflict resolution and peaceful networking,

· Building civil dialogue and promoting culture of peace

· Building Democracy amongst youth and women

During the project, which lasted for 4 months, 25 workshops were organised in Baghdad, Kerbala and Kirkuk. 625 beneficiaries from both sexes, and different age groups and backgrounds participated in the training. They came from various institutions including:

· civil servants in Ministry of Electricity, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Human rights, General Integrity commission,

· faculty, members of local city councils, members of political parties, members of municipality council Al-Sadr sector, Al-Bayia sector in Baghdad, and Kirkuk municipality,

· college Students and academia, also in youth centers as in Kerbala Institute for female Teachers, Baba Gurgor youth center in Kirkuk,

· NGO activists in human rights and media

15 specialized trainers from both genders, carried out training on conflict resolution, human rights in international agreements, especially the obligation to the Convention on Eliminating of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), concepts of gender, legal status of Iraqi women and focusing on Personal Status Law no. 188/1959, constitutional reform according to the concepts of citizenship, national unity and human security, Article 41 in the constitution and personal effectiveness and presentation.

The workshops came out with the following recommendations:

· The need for further workshops for all government employees, including government institutions, to discuss employee’s rights and the corruption, particularly appertaining to the civil servants responsible for human rights and the application of the legislations.

· Establishing a network of youth leaderships, from both sexes, in different neighborhoods and districts, to educate citizens to monitor services provisions and any human rights violations, lobby and advocate for improving the government performance,

· The amendment of Article 41 of the Iraqi Constitution, which, in effect, reinforces sectarianism and destroys the family unity and social ties

· The importance of publicizing, in conjunction with the educational establishments, the culture of nonviolence, making human rights and citizenship part of curriculum for all grades of education, particularly in the training colleges.

· Raising awareness of the dangers of exploiting religion in politics and the spread of sectarianism in society, which will destroy the national unity.

20 August 2007