The 16 Days of Activism is a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of and ending gender-based violence. The campaign seeks to: raise awareness at the local, national and international levels regarding violence against women, strengthen local work and linking local and global activism, provide a forum for dialogue and strategy-sharing, and demonstrate the solidarity of activists around the world.
The U.S. Embassy in Iraq launched the 16 days of activities with a documentary screening of Fatima in the Baghdad American Corner. The Masarat Foundation, makers of the documentary, organized a panel of four Iraqi women from diverse ethnicities to lead a discussion about the film and their personal challenges. To close out the 16 days of activities, three lectures of maternity and children’s health were held at the Baghdad American Corner by the Iraqi Federation of Medical students.
Below is a list of the Iraqi cities and participants that participated in the 16 Days of Activism campaign:
- In Alsamawah City, the Women Rights Center with alumnus Hasan Almuhsiny handed out 500 posters around the city to illustrate the crime of women trafficking.
- In Baghdad, Alhariri High School alumna Shaima Khalaf conducted an awareness workshop to the students and fellow teachers. Fawziyah Ghanim, an alumna from the College of Islamic Sciences conducted a workshop to shed light on the problems and causes of violence against women. Athraa Alhussainey, the Head of Model Iraqi Women NGO, conducted a workshop about the dangers of early marriage and showed a documentary film to NGOs and Ministry of culture staff. Rawaa Razaq, an alumna and head of Women Affairs in the Ministry of Oil, conducted a series of workshops in the ministry to raise awareness about violence against women. The IFMSA-Iraq (International Federation of Medical students) organized two major public awareness campaigns in Alzawaraa Park and Almansour mall to explain to Iraqi people the importance of gender equality.
- In Diyala, Maysaa, the Head of Nisaa Alghad (Women Of Tomorrow) NGO, conducted a scientific open lecture with the title” the reality of women violence and its effects on the society”
- In Maysan, Al Miezan Association for Human Rights Development with Iraqi Women Foundation and Alahad Humanitarian NGO collaborated to conduct a series of workshops presented by IVLP alumnus Haider Chasib to raise awareness on the situation of Iraqi women.
- In Najaf City, alumni Muntather Hassan and Maram Almousawy and part of MOJA NGO, collaborated with Alamal Iraqi Association to conduct a serious of workshops for Najafi women to discuss the importance of the 16 days to eliminate violence against women’ especially in Iraq.
- In Al Diwaniyah, Karama Altaie, the Head of the Green Oasis NGO visited the Women Affairs Department in Al Diwaniyah and learned through a survey that over 30,000 women in Al Diwaniyah City are registered as victims of domestic violence and conducted a series of workshops to raise awareness among active NGOs. Salama Alsaqban, Head of Women Justice NGO collaborated with the Department of Women Trafficking, Al Diwaniyah Police Dept. to conduct a workshop to take a closer look at and discuss Iraqi Human Trafficking Law 28, passed in 2012 and how female police officers deal with abused women.
- In Dhi Qar, the Aur Organization for Women and Children Culture participated in the official Iraq UN campaign to raise the awareness of Iraqi women through a series of activities to help Iraqi women with decision making and learning which international laws are there to protect them. They also created a radio series called “EVE” to talk about women rights which was broadcasted in three Iraqi cities. Haider Alawadi, head of Sawa for Human Rights Organization worked closely with NGOs and Government officials to apply the UN Security Council International Law 1325 which specializes in protecting women in conflict zones.
- In Sulimaniyah, Ayaz Shalal and Rasan Org. conducted a series of awareness and assessment seminars for Yazidi women in four IDP camps to promote education, gender equality, and raise awareness about violence against women. Hezha Khan created an online awareness campaign using Facebook to show facts and figures from the international campaign and also worked with Access students to present a workshop explaining the importance of gender equality.
- In Babil, IVLP alumnus Hasan Aziz showed a play which depicts how forced early marriage violates women rights in 16 different high schools.
- In Karbala, Muqdad Aldaffaie, head of the Graduate Students Association conducted workshops in Karbala University to raise awareness about violence against women.
- In Basrah, Abdulazeez Alfaraj, Head of the Voice of Basrah Radio, held a series of radio programs that broadcasted during the 16 days to raise awareness on ways to protect women rights and the Iraqi laws on domestic violence.
- In the United States, Hadeel Ibrahaim conducted a workshop for the Iraqi and Syrian women living in the U.S. to explain to them the laws that support their rights in the U.S.