UN Women in Iraq and the Office of the President of the Republic of Iraq signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 15 April 2019 providing a framework of cooperation in areas of gender equality and women's empowerment.
The MoU, signed by UN Women Representative Dina Zorba and the Iraqi President's Adviser for Gender and Civil Society, Ms Khanim Latif, provides for cooperation in technical fields, research and advocacy.
UN Women and the Office of the President will cooperate in promoting enabling frameworks for the realisation of women's rights as well as government-wide mainstreaming of gender equality and women's empowerment. The MoU works also to promote sustainable institutional capacities to ensure Iraq's alignment with its international human rights commitments.
In particular, the MoU seeks to ensure a gender-based response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a focus on building the capacity of women representatives to perform their role in the political and decision-making spheres. Furthermore, it provides for harmonising policy approaches in the areas of national reconciliation, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.
The MoU also aims to strengthen the database for women's issues in order to inform and guide evidence-based advocacy. The effort includes enhancing the process of regularly producing gender statistics and cooperation in all stages of research, in addition to improving access to research findings and data by users, including women.
UN Women and the President's Office will also collaborate in strengthening the momentum for the advancement of women's agenda in Iraq through joint advocacy and outreach efforts.
The two sides will work on informing and influencing the national discourse on the elimination of legislative, social and economic barriers for women's realisation and recognition of their rights, including in the areas of women's economic empowerment, participation in the decision-making process, ending gender-based violence and promoting women's active participation in the political sphere.
In addition, the two sides will advocate for the establishment of a mechanism for women that is capable of coordinating the issues of women with the aim of ensuring the political, social, cultural and economic empowerment of women towards achieving gender equality.
The signing ceremony was attended by Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Marta Ruedas and advisers to the Iraqi President.