Elbarlament is a peacebuilding and democracy support organisation, with a special focus on empowering women and youth. We follow a unique approach that integrates conflict sensitivity, cultural awareness and intersectionality.
Elbarlament cooperates with parliaments, governments, civil society actors and international institutions, implementing projects and delivering consulting services in German, English, French and Arabic. Our international and multilingual team is based in Berlin, Cologne and Erbil (Iraq).
Women can and must play a creative and equal role in shaping the future of the Iraqi state. Their involvement in peacebuilding processes not only corresponds with the Iraqi government’s existing international obligations, it also offers concrete opportunities to pursue peacebuilding and state building aside from the official peace initiatives that are mostly dominated by men.
the project ‘’Women Talking Peace’’ is Implemented by elbarlament in Iraq. It is funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Government as part of the Programme “Strengthening the Participation of Women in the Rehabilitation and Peace Process in Iraq” (SPW)*. Throughout 2020-22, it aims to involve women in the building of an effective peace order and functioning state, democratic and social structures in Iraq. To contribute to this, the project consists of two components: a capacity building component and a research component with regard to women and peace building in Iraq.
The Capacity Building Component and Cross-Cutting Activities
Within the first component, elbarlament is implementing capacity building programmes that aim to empower women from politics and civil society to effectively participate in the areas of conflict resolution, reconciliation work and decision making. In a modular leadership training programme, women are being trained to take on management tasks at all government and social levels as well as in organizations. In another creative writing programme ‘’Women writing for Peace’’, we aim to equip young women from Iraq, who previously attended creative writing workshops with elbarlament, with the skills to become multipliers for peace, to strengthen their self-confidence and support civil society with their own creative writing workshops for peace and reconciliation in Iraq. Within this first component, elbarlament also promotes a gender-sensitive understanding of the police, judiciary and armed forces through several capacity trainings and fosters a dialogue between women from politics and civil society as well as religious and tribal leaders on the subject of peacebuilding and reconciliation. In the framework of our cross-cutting activities and the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 we brought together state and non-state actors from Iraq and the MENA region in an online conference in December 2020 and women from across MENA and Iraq in a regional network meeting in December 2021.
The Research Component
The other main component of the project consists of several research projects. The first project was a stakeholder mapping, which aimed at identifying key actors in the field of women empowerment and peacebuilding on the local, provincial and national level. Through the stakeholder mapping we were able to engage key officials, experts and practitioners and establish links for possible participation in the planned project activities such as training for security personnel and government officials. Since the inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes in Iraq is still an understudied topic, an additional study is tackling the challenges to women´s meaningful participation in peace processes in Iraq and highlighting the opportunities, best practices, and possible areas of intervention. The study is paying particular attention to how women can influence peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Furthermore, elbarlament is collaborating with experienced researchers to conduct four thematic research papers which will be published on this dialogue platform and serve to complement existing knowledge gaps. The research papers will focus on 1) the Legislative Framework to Women’s Participation in Political and Peacebuilding Processes, 2) Engaging Women in Peacebuilding Processes in Iraq: best practices and lessons learned, 3) Sustainable Peacebuilding through Economic Empowerment and 4) Online Sexist Hate Speech and Women’s Participation in Public and Political Life in Iraq.
The Project Target Group
The project is aimed at women who are active in civil society and women from politics, for example parliamentarians and female government members from central Iraq, the provinces and the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan. The project brings together women from different ethnic and religious groups: Kurdish women, women from the Shiite south and from Sunni regions, and women from religious and ethnic minorities. In addition, the project addresses decision makers and state representatives at a decentralized level in all provinces of Iraq and Kurdistan. In the course of training workshops, tribal and religious leaders as well as – female and male – police officers, prosecutors, judges and members of the armed forces will be trained and sensitized in the topics of conflict transformation, dialogue and gender.
Guidlines of the Project
The main guidelines of the project are the UN Convention on the Rights of Women (CEDAW) and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on the Participation of Women in Peace Processes, which has been in existence for 20 years in 2020, its subsequent resolutions, and the National Action Plan (NAP2) from 2021-2024 for Iraq, which aims at gender mainstreaming in all political fields and processes of conflict prevention, resolution and peace building in Iraq.