Education International
Education International

Iraqi teachers' campaign strives to end violence against women

published 14 January 2016 updated 4 March 2022

In conjunction with the United Nations’ recent 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Iraqi teachers organised a number of activities under the theme of “Home Peace to World Peace, Peaceful Education for All.”

To bring awareness and generate concrete steps to eliminating violence against women, Iraq's Kurdistan Teachers' Union (KTU) launced a series of initiatives to mobilise the public.

“In addition to these activities, and in coordination with KTU representatives in all schools following KTU guidelines, we raised awareness about the importance of giving equal education opportunities for all,” said KTU President Abdalwahed M. Haje.

Local culture sometimes becomes a barrier to these opportunities, however, and the KTU asked parents to support the effort towards reducing the rate of uneducated children which stands at 12 per cent. The KTU also asked the government and the Education Ministry to provide more tools to reduce the rate of uneducated adults.

Events organised by the KTU included the following:

  • Participating in a large community event in the presence of the President of the Council of Ministers and his deputy, MPs, ministers, women’s organisations, and civil society at the start of the national campaign on 16 November
  • Organising five meetings in the governorates of Erbil, Duhok, Sulemanyah, and Kirkuk, in which hundreds of women participated. These meetings emphasised the importance of the campaign, respecting women, enforcing equality, and explaining applied international regulations
  • Organising two seminars with key speakers and civil activists Newroz Hawezy and Hero Kamal. A lot of data and statistics on violent acts and solutions to them were presented, as well as human rights regulations. In terms of employment opportunities, it was stressed that education fares well with a ratio of female to male teachers of 53:47
  • Setting up two photography exhibitions. The first one in Erbil featured numerous pictures and graphs stressing the role of women in society in the past, and also highlighted the violence they can experience. The second exhibition in Sulemanyah displayed photographs about women’s role in organising their families, management, economic, and agricultural roles. Both exhibitions highlighted that a healthy community is a community with an equal participation for both genders.