Normative and policy frameworks

UN Women believes that more women are needed in leadership roles in order to push forward the process of policy development and improve social norms. UN Women seeks to promote policy development and the implementation of global norms by supporting national stakeholders to review and revise legal frameworks, promote women’s leadership and civic engagement, challenge harmful social norms and practices through community mobilization, and improve data collection and analysis on gender-related indicators and key policy issues.

To achieve these goals, UN Women in Iraq has been leading on several gender policy issues in close cooperation with the Iraqi government, successfully influencing policy and legislation towards more gender equality. Throughout the process, UN Women has built trust at the highest political levels in Iraq in the three branches of authority – the executive, legislative and judiciary -  delivering on its normative mandate.

In view of its reputation and ability to serve gender equality and women’s empowerment in key decision-making circles in the country, it was selected by the Office of the Iraqi President to be part of the Constitutional Reform Committee in 2019. In this unprecedented step, it was the only UN agency given the role of contributing to the drafting of a new Iraqi Constitution, a process which started in response to popular protest movements which started in the country in October 2019. This membership on this high-level panel was indeed an opportunity to provide substantive technical assistance to the Iraqi constitutional amendments process, with the aim of mainstreaming gender in Iraqi legislation, delivering on UN Women’s normative mandate at the highest possible level.

Under Beijing +25, UN Women also played an instrumental role supporting the government in developing its national review, that not only represented the views of the government, but also those of the Iraqi civil society. UN Women also worked to ensure that Iraq was represented in the regional Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report. In 2020, UN Women continued to provide technical assistance to the Iraqi Government in fulfilling its reporting obligations on ratified or adopted international instruments. With UN Women’s support, the Beijing +25 report had been submitted to the regional commission in May 2019. UN Women supported technically and financially the Iraqi Delegation who attended the Regional Beijing + 25 Validation Report in Beirut in September 2019 which was an opportunity for the Iraqi delegation to share their challenges and lessons learned in the context of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action 12 areas of concern. In 2020, UN Women continued to follow up on this and work is still ongoing even though the instability of the security situation in addition to the COVID-19 related restrictions caused significant delays.