All districts in Iraq have Municipal Councils to deal directly with the most basic needs of local citizens. However, women have been completely excluded from holding positions on the councils since their creation in 2003, even though there is a 25% quota for females in both Parliamentary and Provincial Councils. In 2011, following protests emerging throughout the region, Iraqi citizens began protesting for democracy and freedom in the country. Women’s rights organization Iraqi Al Firdaws Society (IAFS) recognized the opportunity to create change when the government unexpectedly called for new elections. The organization requested funds to initiate an awareness raising campaign to pressure the government to allow women to hold 25% of the seats on Municipal Councils.
IAFS promotes women’s rights, including the economic empowerment of women and their participation in the political process and democracy, by providing trainings and education for women on leadership skills, voting, and democracy.