Second Annual Conference
#Baghdad_Women_Association held an annual conference sponsored by Women Empowerment Directorate in the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, entitled “Anti-Domestic Violence Draft Law between Necessity and Objection”, held under the framework of “Strengthening Access to Protection, Participation and Services for women Refugees, Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and women in Host Communities in Iraq”, funded by the European Union, through the EU’s Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU ‘Madad’ Fund and implemented by a consortium led by EuroMed Feminist Initiative. This event took place over a two-day period, (in correspondence with the COVID-19 health measures) on the 11th &12th of September 2020, at the Rotana Babylon Hotel in Baghdad and gathered the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities, along with civil society organizations (100 attendees, 25 online via Zoom) to review and discuss the Reality of Domestic Violence in Iraq, the Importance of Making Laws, Challenges of Passing Laws, and Response Methods.
The attendees were from different actors such as the British Embassy on the first day and representatives of the legislative authorities from the Presidency of the Council of Representatives, Women, Family and Childhood Committee, the Human Rights Committee and the Legal Committee, and from the executive authority of the relevant ministries including the Ministry of Interior Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Oil, and the Non-Governmental Organizations Department, as the Deputy Director General, civil society organizations from Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah, Nineveh Plain and Mosul.
The conference discussions focused on domestic violence, the necessities and requirements of legislation, means of responding, and challenges faced. Therefore, many research papers which focused on legal, social, psychological and economic aspects were presented by the speakers (Dr. Ibtisam Aziz, Director General of the Women Empowerment Department at the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, Mrs. Amal Kabashi Faraj, Coordinator of the Iraqi Women’s Network / representative of civil society organizations, Judge Anwar Hassan Nehme, a representative of the Supreme Judicial Council, Dr. Mazen Lilo Radi, Advisor to the State Council, a member of the Supreme Administrative Court, and the rapporteur of the draft law on protection from domestic violence, and Dr. Ali Odeh Muhammad / Director General of the Center for Studies and Research, Mrs. Intisar Al-Jubouri, Vice President of the Women, Family and Childhood Parliamentary Committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Mr. Khalil Ibrahim Kazem, an international researcher specializing in human rights, Dr. Muhammad Abbas Ahmed a researcher specializing in economics and Dr. Rasha Hashem, a specialist in economics, and Dr. Mays Mohamed specialized in sociology).
The Discussions took place between the attendees and the speakers, and concluded with a number of recommendations and proposals:
- The need to speed the approval of the draft law on protection from domestic violence.
- Activating the shelters for women subjected to violence.
- Lobbying decision-makers to speed up passing the draft law.
- Implementing several awareness campaigns through social media.
- Create media campaigns to change the ideas of the opposing party upon the passage of the draft law.
- Increasing awareness campaigns about the privileges of the law.
- Establishing marriage rehabilitation centers for those who want to get married.
- Holding educational courses and activating the role of the social worker at all academic levels.
- The law must be activated quickly and the international and local organizations should support its passage and lobby the Women’s Committee to pass it.
- Workers in the ministries must be trained to make a gender-responsive budget.