European Union External Action

Enhancing Education, Developing Community, and Promoting Visibility to Effect Gender Equity in Iraq and the Greater MENA Region

04/12/2019 - 12:21
Democracy and Human Rights

This is the first program to offer an interdisciplinary gender studies minor with research and community development. As the only English-medium program, the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) has access to international textbooks, curricula, and networks, and thus sets a high academic standard. As such, it can support other gender centers that struggle with linguistic and cultural barriers. CGDS’s objectives are academic development, community capacity building, and improved visibility.

The overall objective of this action is to leverage education, community development, and visibility in such a way that has a direct and meaningful practical impact on both general and higher education, among policy decision makers, and ultimately on the fabric of Iraqi society and the greater MENA region. It aims to initiate a cultural change, through fostering critical thinking, exposing the normalised and hidden injustices in society, ‘problematising’ the gender status quo, and providing an alternative understanding with new possibilities. To this end, CGDS have developed several interrelated activities within three specific objectives (as described in the concept note and detailed below), each with its own outcome or output that supports the overall project:

  1. Development for education and higher education in Iraq and the MENA Region.
  2. Building community capacity in gender awareness and advocacy.
  3. Organising visibility events to promote CGDS and EU projects.

EU Contribution

EUR 900,000




Iraq (with training in Egypt and Lebanon)



Students, academics, gender centers, ministries of education and higher education, activists, NGO workers, and the wider community.

Kurdish and Arab societies, ministries, NGOs in Iraq, and education and higher education sectors in the MENA region.

Implementing partner

Center for Gender and Development Studies

Funding instrument

Development and Cooperation Instrument


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