Women’s Political Representation in Iraq

The Situation: While the Iraqi Parliament and Provincial Councils require 25% of all seats to be allocated to women, women are excluded from Municipal Councils. All districts in Iraq have Municipal Councils, and these Councils deal directly with the most basic needs of local citizens.

The Rapid Response: Women’s rights organization Iraqi Al Firdaws Society (IAFS) recognized a convergence of opportunities, when the pro-democracy protests of 2011 spread to Iraq, and when the government unexpectedly called for new elections. The organization requested an Urgent Action Fund grant to initiate an awareness-raising campaign to pressure the government to institute a 25% quota for women on Municipal Councils.

The Impact: IAFS made recommendations to the Iraqi Parliament to develop laws to increase women’s participation in municipal councils. They secured an initial post for women as assistants/supporters of the Municipal Councils.