In 1993 The United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The aim of the day is to raise awareness on domestic and any form of violence against women. According to UN statistics one in three women experience sexual or physical violence, in most cases from their intimate partner. Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls were married before their 18th birthday.
The Iraqi society has been suffering for decades from the expansion of violence. Thousands of women and girls were abused and experienced sexual violence during the armed conflict against Daesh and many of the victims were abducted, sold and sexually abused. The COVID-pandemic has increased dramatically the number of gender-based and domestic violence cases and household tensions across Iraq.
EUAM, together with its counterparts, is dedicated to raise the level of awareness and to develop better procedures and mechanisms to counter violence against women. The statement on this special day is highlighting the Mission’s commitment and asking for more solidarity and action. The Mission’s goal in this respect is to make a difference through its own actions in support of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), working closely on human rights and gender related aspects of the security sector reform. Together with its international partners and Iraqi counterparts, the Mission works to improve legislation, policies, and strategic planning. During the pandemic, the Mission has increased outreach and support to help counter gender-based violence.
The MoI supports the Iraqi Government in its objectives to combat domestic violence. The Government has designed a National Strategy to Combat Violence Against Women (2018-30).
"The Ministry of Interior is very keen to improve the situation and effective role of women in Iraqi society. Violence against women is a crime and it is the responsibility of the security institutions to fight and eliminate it", states His Excellency Iraq's Minister of Interior, Othman Al-Ghanmi, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In this respect, EUAM Iraq would welcome the Iraqi Parliament to speed up the endorsement of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law. “The adoption of the law would improve the situation for the victims of domestic violence and bring the perpetrators closer to accountability”, says EUAM Iraq Head of Mission Christoph Buik.
EUAM Iraq engages with national counterparts such as the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Federal Intelligence and Investigations Agency, the Family Protection Directorate and the Female Training Institute on the women, peace and security agenda, amongst others on the Iraqi National Plan of Action II and on the quality of the response in cases of violence against women, including domestic violence, and in improving the existing protocols and mechanisms, including the MoI Hotline system.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will be followed by 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. This year’s theme is: ‘’Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!’’
Learn more about the campaign: www.unwomen.org