IFK Calls Women's Advocacy Groups to Action in Support of Iraqi Women, Praises Iraqi Kurdish Officials for Women's Rights Promotion

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Kurdish Security Chief Masrour Barzani Highlights Efforts to Open New Opportunities to Kurdistani Women. In Speech to New Police Cadets, KRG Prime Minister Nerchivan Barzani Likewise Encourages More Female Recruits to Join Police/Security Service, Endorses Efforts to Protect Human Rights and Prevent Violence against Women in Iraqi Kurdistan.

You must be the protectors of individual and public rights..you will ensure enforcement of the law, so you must also ensure that no one is above the law. You must assure the people that you, and the law, support the weak and unprotected. You will be ensuring the freedom of the press and society.

The Institute for Kurds (IFK) warmly welcomes the recent emphasis placed on women's right and the campaign to end violence against women launched by top officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. In the Middle East, where women have notoriously circumscribed opportunities in the public sphere and the subject of violence against women is often taboo, officials in the stable and secure Kurdish region in northern Iraq have recently used important speeches to advocate for women's rights and the promotion of the rule of law. In order to encourage the continuation of these efforts, the IFK calls on Western NGOs and women's groups to constructively engage the Kurdistan Regional Government by expressing their support for such action to its chief executive: President Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government. Your concern will ensure that the KRG continues its important work to help liberate women in the Middle East.

Click here to email your encouragement of these efforts to President Barzani

While Kurdish society is known to be more open and tolerant than most communities in the Middle East, Kurdistani women still face difficult societal pressures to remain at home and the government is confronted with complex challenges in addressing violence against women in rural communities. In order to address this thorny issue, Masrour Barzani as head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party's security services has initiated a program of female recruitment into the most sensitive and important branch of Iraqi Kurdistan's law enforcement system. In the last graduating class of security forces, almost a third of graduates were female officers. This is an amazing accomplishment, comparable to statistics found in many Western societies and will be vital to ensuring that violence against women is fully investigated and curtailed. The significance of these efforts and the visionary leadership required to see them though will be paramount to establishing a more peaceful Iraqi society. Expressing your support for his actions will encourage others to follow this lead in opening new opportunities to women in both Iraq and Kurdistan.

Click here to express your support of these actions to President Barzani

In a recent interview, Masrur Barzani commented on these efforts, "Kurdish women have played a pivotal role historically in our society…As chief of security, I want to provide the best possible protection for all our citizens and I think our new female recruits increase our ability to do just that. I would like to see us continue to open new opportunities for them in the future."

You Can Help Him in These Efforts by Expressing your Support to President Barzani

Echoing his sentiments, KRG Prime Minister Nerchivan Barzani addressed the most recent graduates of the region's police academy on Sunday, stating, "We hope that the female graduates of our universities and institutes would also come forth and join the police force. More female cadets joining the police force would further promote equality in our society." The Prime Minister also highlighted the vital role the police and security services have played in creating a stable, prosperous society in the autonomous Kurdistan region and encouraged them to pursue their work with a deep respect for human rights, the rule of law, and the promotion of a democratic society : "You must be the protectors of individual and public rights..you will ensure enforcement of the law, so you must also ensure that no one is above the law. You must assure the people that you, and the law, support the weak and unprotected. You will be ensuring the freedom of the press and society."

Express Your Support to President Barzani for These Positive Actions

The Institute for Kurds encourages private citizens, women's groups, and other NGOs to actively engage with the Kurdish region in support of its efforts to build a democratic, peaceful society in northern Iraq. You can follow President Barzani's speeches via his website and support further positive reforms by your engagement. The KRG is the semi-autonomous government that currently administers the three northern Iraqi provinces of Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulimeniyah.
The Institute for Kurds was founded with a mission to advance understanding between Americans and Kurds in order to improve the lives of both communities through better cooperation in the vital arenas they are destined to interact in throughout the twenty-first century. The founding members of the Institute believe that the American presence in Kurdistan, along with daily interaction between Kurds and Americans will heighten their mutual interdependence for decades to come. Seeking the enhanced welfare of both communities, the Institute was established in January 2004 as an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organization based in Washington DC.

If you would like to contribute to vocational training for internally-displaced female refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan, please DONATE and specify FEMALE IDP TRAINING. 100% of these funds will be directly allocated for training courses.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Institute for Kurds
Email: director (at) instituteforkurds.org
1050 17th St, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 496-5315
Fax: (240) 238-2861

To interview officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government, email president (at) krp.org


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