Brigadier General Abbas, a father of seven sons, works as the Head of the Ministry of Interior’s Ministerial Team responsible for the implementation of the UN Resolution 1325 and the Iraqi National Action Plan (I-NAP). Here he reflects his work in the midst of challenging security situation and COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2014 Iraq was the first country in the Middle East that launched a National Action Plan (I-NAP) to implement the UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Please tell us about the work of the Ministry of Interior’s Ministerial team?
My team at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has made great efforts in implementing the first Iraqi National Action Plan. However, the challenging security situation in Iraq has impacted the work of the team.
Despite the challenges, I am happy to see the increase of women in operational activities and investigative work. Many of these women are in leadership positions and their active participation in public events in Iraq and globally is extremely important.
Kindly elaborate on the MoI’s efforts to provide security for women and girls from gender-based violence? How can the police help to reduce violence against women and end impunity for perpetrators?
The MoI is working endlessly to decrease the number of gender-based violence and violence against women cases. The most important achievement until now has been the establishment of The Family and Child Protection Directorate and the Protection of Women from Violence Directorate covering all Iraqi provinces. The helpline to report domestic violence and violence against women cases is also a very important and positive development. Furthermore, the MoI organises publicity campaigns together with the Community Police to increase the awareness of public.
What has been the most rewarding or memorable experience for you personally when it comes to the Women, Peace, Security agenda?
The most memorable experience I have had so far was when we sent eight female officers from the MoI to Canada to participate in the Women’s Police Leadership Conference. This event was a great opportunity for our female staff to engage actively with other international colleagues.
What would be your message to Iraqi women during these challenging times?
Women play and important role in shaping and changing the Iraqi society. I encourage all the women to take initiative and fearlessly fight for their rights.