In Iraq, peace organisation PAX gave special attention to women in an effort to increase community security. Through this programme, we worked with local partners on several projects. Our objective was to enable women to help organize their own and others’ safety. This programme took place from October 2013 until December 2016.
In Iraq's conservative society, women are not accustomed to playing a role in public life. This applies particularly to 'male' affairs like violence and conflict. PAX is doing its utmost to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) for the population of several Iraqi cities that are among the most dangerous in the world. We worked with local women's organisations that operate in a complex environment and seek contact with government, political and religious leaders and the police.
Our women against violence project offered women tools that enabled them to decide about matters that affect their lives and those of their families daily. We used several strategies for this: we offered women grass-roots support, encouraged their promotion in the police force, raised police, government and religious leaders' awareness of women's affairs and gender, and organised public campaigns and lobbying.
PAX organized a training course for 20 women on the role of women in peacebuilding (UNSCR 1325), human rights and women's rights. The women also took part in excursions and exchange meetings that the local partner organised with the Kirkuk police department. They are now ready to be deployed by the Kirkuk police as mediators in family disputes.
We have stimulated cooperation between women and religious and traditional leaders. We organised a televised discussion on women's rights in which leaders and women's activists took part.
We supported the recruitment of women police officers and prison guards.