Search Grants Database

Or View Grants by Region

Iraqi Al Firdaws Society (IAFS)

Basra City Iraq
June 2011

Grant Description

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.

Impact Report

With UAF funds, IAFS carried out its awareness raising campaign. It purchased media materials, initiated a signature campaign and held a conference in Basra where the idea of expanding the participation of women in political decision-making was discussed among members of provincial council, municipal councils, and civil society organizations. Organization members pointed out that the grant “…contributed to the achievement of the first step in the way of supporting the participation of women in local councils.” IAFS explained that as a result of their efforts, they obtained three key results: they made recommendations to those responsible and the Iraqi Parliament to make laws dealing with the participation of women in municipal councils; they created a plan to form a committee to follow-up on the results achieved; and they gained access to an initial post for women in municipal councils as assistants/supporters of the councils.