UN Iraq, NGOs consolidate response to address needs of women and girls

Erbil, 28th January 2015: The United Nations Humanitarian community concluded 2-day training with local NGO partners and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), primarily women’s groups working in central and south Iraq. The training titled, ‘Protection and Gender Mainstreaming in Humanitarian Action: Strengthening Response’ was the first initiative of its kind aimed at strengthening partnerships between civil society groups in responding to the specific needs of internally displaced women, girls, boys and men.


The number of displaced people in Iraq stands at over 2.1 million as of January 2015. Communities across the country are affected and women and girls remain particularly vulnerable facing security and protection concerns, risk of sexual violence and abuse, including sexual slavery, torture and kidnappings perpetrated by ISIL. 

A gender and age profile of the displaced population shows that the percentage of females is higher than males across the different age groups. Girls in the age groups of 9-16 years were particularly identified at risk of early/forced marriage. Responding to the specific needs of women’s groups in such an environment is a priority for the humanitarian community.

The training, which took place on 26 and 27 January, was organized as a follow-up to the Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 Open Day Meeting held in October 2014 between CSOs and SRSG Mladenov in Baghdad.

The training aimed at strengthening national capacities of the women CSOs/NGOs, which frequently support the provision of humanitarian support in areas affected by armed conflict where access for international actors is limited. Strengthening partnership between the United Nations and the national actors ensures that aid delivered is compliant to the international humanitarian protection and gender mainstreaming standards and relevant to the distinct needs of women, girls, boys and men. 

The women CSOs and NGO had the opportunity to engage with individual Clusters, understand the overall humanitarian coordination architecture, get introduced to the relevant humanitarian financial mechanisms as well gain specific knowledge about key protection and gender commitments in humanitarian response in armed conflict.

The training concluded with the identification of specific ways forward to strengthen collaboration and capacities in addressing protection and gender risks, stronger coordination between national NGOs and UN agencies and the request for replication of this training in different governorates so as to include a wider range of CSO/NGO participation.


Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI

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