Iraq

OVERVIEW

While there are no formal peace agreements that have followed the 2003 confl ict in Iraq, power sharing agreements, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the 2005 Constitution provide insight into the process of statebuilding post-2003 and the role that women played (in formal discussions as well as outside them) in ensuring that gender provisions were included in new structures. However the statebuilding process, and women’s engagement with this process, has played out in a context of ongoing insecurity and conflict. Consequently, while parliamentary quotas (a strong gender provision included in the 2005 Constitution) provided opportunities for women to engage in formal political spaces, the ongoing insecurity has created an environment that makes participation (in this and other spaces) difficult. A number of factors contribute to this, including widespread corruption that has undermined infrastructure and services, Islamification (or an increase in conservative voices) of Iraqi social and political spaces, terrorism, widespread displacement due to ongoing conflict, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

STRENGTH OF GENDER PROVISIONS

UN Security Council Resolution 1546 – 2004

0
None
1
Weakest
2 3 4 5
Strongest
Human Rights
Development
Post-Conflict Issues
Violence Against Women
Participation
General

Iraqi Constitution 2005

0
None
1
Weakest
2 3 4 5
Strongest
Human Rights  
Development  
Post-Conflict Issues
Violence Against Women  
Participation  
General

Erbil Agreement 2010

0
None
1
Weakest
2 3 4 5
Strongest
Human Rights
Development
Post-Conflict Issues
Violence Against Women
Participation
General

WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION:
KEY CONSTRAINTS AND ENABLERS

Constraints

  1. Heightened insecurity and increased risk of gender-based violence
  2. Economic insecurity and lacking access to vital services
  3. Ongoing security concerns, resulting in displacement
  4. Growing divisions and inequalities between communities (sectarian and ethnic, but also along class lines)
  5. Growing ‘Islamification’ of Iraqi political and cultural space

Enablers

  1. Women’s organising during the statebuilding phase
  2. Women’s quota in parliament
  3. Active and well-networked civil society
  4. Women’s organisations’ responsiveness to security concerns and service gaps