“Women in Positions of Leadership: Opportunities for Empowerment”

Middle East Research Institute

Created 03/31/2020

The best indicator of a nation’s overall security and stability is not its GDP, nor the strength of its democracy, but gender equality. Founder and Director of SEED Foundation, Sherri Kraham Talabany, introduced the panel on female political leadership by unpacking the Panel Five: Women in Positions of Leadership: Opportunities for Empowerment

  • Muna Qawachi, Secretary of Kurdistan Parliament
  • Vian Sabri, member of Council of Representatives, Iraq
  • Kwestan Mohammed, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Sherri Kraham Talabany, Founder and Director, SEED Foundation

“If you want peace, security, and stability, you need to be concerned with women… I can assure you that women have policy initiatives and power to make changes in Iraq.” – Sherri Kraham Talabany

In order to better understand the persistent instability of Iraq, Kraham Talabany highlighted key drivers of gender disparity within this context. She noted the endemic levels of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), including domestic violence, experienced by over 50% of women in Erbil alone; the inability of Iraqi females to attend 12 full years of formal education, averaging a mere 7 years per capita; and women’s low participation (14%) in the labour market. In addition, the federal government only has three females within its 23- member Cabinet, despite evidence that female participation in policy-making lowers levels of corruption. Such gender-based violence and discriminatory practices collectively heighten social insecurity for everyone.



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