Aspiring for sustainable development and peace: Naciri calls on Iraqi leaders to safeguard women leadership positions

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Mr. Mohamed Nasri, UN Women Regional Director of Arab States, called on Iraqi leaders to take practical and decisive steps to ensure that women assume leadership positions in the three presidencies and in the government to achieve sustainable development and peace.

The call followed his visit to Iraq where he met with heads of political blocs, leaders at the highest levels and a large number of women and parliamentary leaders to emphasize the importance of supporting the agenda of women and women's participation in leadership and decision-making.

A joint statement by the UN Women and an assembly of Iraqi women leaders, called for sincere measures to ensure fair participation of women in all parts of the state. The call included a number of viable demands on the governmental and parliamentary levels as follows:

1. Ensure representation of women in the Presidency of Parliament, the Prime Ministry and the Presidency of the Republic.
2. Substantive and leadership roles in parliamentary committees, in particular the Security and Defense Committee, for the importance of women’s role in maintaining peace and security and providing support to the Women's Committee.
3. Emphasize the participation of women in ministerial portfolios in the government by not less than 25%
4. Support the formulation of a women's bloc that brings together various political blocs in parliament, uniting the efforts of women within a clear framework of action and supporting women's issues and defending their rights.
5. Support the government's efforts to restore the Ministry of Women with full portfolio to give greater impetus to women's issues and to meet Iraq's local, regional and international commitments towards the women agenda.

Mr. Naciri’s mission complemented Iraqi women leaders supported by UN Women where they met with the political blocs and leaders at the highest levels to emphasize the importance of supporting the agenda of women and the participation of women in leadership and decision-making. The meetings were also attended by UN Women Country representative in Iraq Ms. Dina Zorba and a number of UN Women staff and experts.

The Regional Director of UN Women said that women's political participation is essential for achieving equality, sustainable development, peace and democracy. "We have great hope to respond to the demands of the women of Iraq mothers and daughters, because the active participation of women, who represent half of society, will achieve security, stability and prosperity and push ahead with progress and sustainable development in Iraq.