Kurdistan Democratic Women’s Union delegates in SIW, with Dr. Kwestan Gadani as a representant

2017-02-27 09:46:52

"The first session today was about gender inequality, education and women empowerment. The following session was called ending violence, acting for peace and development Lastly, there was a closed session for full member organisations where the members discussed administrative matters and elections.

 Text and photos: Hanna Ghaderi

Arleth Casado, the president of the legal commission for the equality of women and senator of the Republic, Colombia spoke in the opening session. She enlightened the attending members on the matters of the evolution Colombia has had in the past few years. Casado also pointed out that with the help of reforms and democracy in society, women can gain decision making positions. Casado added that there are many challenges and that we have a long way to go. She was also hopeful that within a short amount of time we will reach our goals.


Furthermore, in the opening session Olga Lucia Velasques, which is the honourable representative to the chamber of the republic and spokeswoman of the bench of liberal representatives in the congress of the Republic, Colombia. Velasques clarified that 52 percent of the votes in Colombia are made by women. However, she discussed how the women give the power to men, and then are dissatisfied with how ineffective the women are in politics.


During the first session there were many women that spoke. Among these were Pia Locatelli, the SIW honorary president, Ousseini Yacouba and Kwestan Gadani. All three spoke on gender inequality, education and women empowerment. Gadani educated the members on how the gender equality revolution started, and still is going on, in Kurdistan.

The presentation also contained detailed explanations and arguments for several disadvantages gender inequality raises among Kurdish women, both internationally and nationally. Among these are the gaps in education in rural and urban areas in which that gender inequality has increased. This was thoroughly explained for the member parties and organisations of the Socialist International Women.

An additional point was how the laws made by the central governments in Kurdistan help to increase the gender gap. For instance, the fact that the Kurds mother tongue is illegal, that men own the money and leave the women with no legal rights and the restrictions put on women attending universities. Despite all the political activities made in the effort for gender equality, there are still issues that needs attention. For instance, the fact that suicide rates among women in the Kurdish part of Iran has increased alarmingly. The method used most frequently is self-immolation, especially in the towns Illam and Kermanshah. In this relation, Kurdish Democratic Women’s Union proposed a resolution which called for the SIW, all NGOs and governments to encourage and support more studies of intent for designing tailored protected programs against self-immolation.

Gadani then concluded with that the distribution of power and influence between the genders should be equal. To reach the goals that have been put forward during her presentation, she explained the need for agencies, structure and relations. She also stressed the fact that since gender inequality has a local effect, it can also have a global effect. Cooperation and solidarity can have a positive effect on gender equality.

The second session, was about ending violence, acting for peace and development. Chantal Kambiwa (Camerun), Natalia (Russia) and Hella Benyoussef (Tunisia), all spoke about how their countries government systems can be used to stop abuse and violence in general. They also enlightened how women should fight for their own rights, and what a critical role all the NGO’s play in order to act for peace and development.

In the third and final session the members voted in the amendments to the statutes that were presented yesterday. All the amendments were unanimously voted in to the SIW’s statutes. There was also an opening for the members to raise their concerns and/or questions about the amendments. For the second part of this sessions, the executive board and the president was elected. The president Ouafa Hajji was re-elected for another term, and Hilal Dokuzcan was elected vice president for the Mediterranean east, the Middle East and the Caucasus.

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