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Women for Green Iraq platform established to promote gender in disaster risk reduction and environmental policies

5 December 2016

Erbil- In collaboration with the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has organized a training workshop on understanding the role of gender in disaster risk reduction (DRR), environment, and climate change. Held on 28-30 November 2016 in Erbil, the training targeted 35 gender focal points from various ministries in Iraq, including the Ministry of Health and Environment and five Directors from the Environment Protection and Improvement Board (EPIB) of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Familiarized with gender-sensitive policies and programmes, the participants developed plans for mainstreaming gender and environment within their ministries and departments. They further established the platform Women for Green Iraq that will be tasked with promoting gender integration in environmental policies, with technical support from UNDP. The platform will be launched in early 2017, and commence activities with conducting a respective baseline study.

Deputy Country Director for UNDP Iraq, Mr. Sultan Hajiyev, said: “Women in Iraq are exposed to the risks of environmental degradation and vulnerable to disaster risks and hazards. At the same time, they are often more likely than men to participate in communal actions to reduce risk and enhance development. Barriers to women’s participation at the higher levels of decision-making often severely limit their skills and knowledge available for reducing disaster risk. We hope this training will help the participants and Iraq walk another step towards removing such barriers."

“The workshop was a great opportunity to learn more about the importance of gender in climate change and DRR, and also about how to contribute to gender mainstreaming in planning and designing programmes,” said Ms. Muntaha Khudhair Mohammed of the Mine Action Directorate, Ministry of Health and Environment. 

Made possible with funding from the Global Environment Facility, this training was implemented under UNDP’s Environment, Energy and Climate Change Programme (EECC). The Programme supports the promotion of sustainable environmental management in Iraq, and helps to build capacity of respective ministries to ensure that environment, climate change and disaster risk reduction are incorporated into laws, plans, policies and strategies at the local, provincial and national levels

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