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KRG Prime Minister: I Will Continue Supporting and Championing the Legitimate Rights of Women

On Tuesday, October 31, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani attended a ceremony in Erbil to mark the anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. The event was organised by the High Council for Women and Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Commission on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women).

Here is the full transcript of the Prime Minister’s speech:

“In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,

“I commend the High Council for Women and Development and the United Nations Commission on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) for organising this event to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

“This resolution holds great significance for the Security Council and has a lasting impact, particularly in conflict-ridden regions where women often bear the brunt of the consequences. Its primary aim is to address and eliminate violence against women during times of war, while promoting women’s participation in peacemaking and decision-making.

“The Kurdistan Region has endured years of war and devastation, with Kurdish women consistently facing the hardships brought on by these conflicts. Notably, during the 1980s, our region suffered brutal genocidal campaigns and chemical attacks, causing immense loss and suffering.

“The attacks by ISIS, especially in Sinjar, resulted in the loss of many lives and the abduction of Yazidi women. Other ethnic communities, including Christians and Kakais, also faced oppression and terror.

“After the liberation of Sinjar by the Peshmerga forces, led by President Massoud Barzani, the KRG initiated efforts to rescue Yazidi women abducted by ISIS. Significant progress has been made in securing their release, and we remain committed to their safe return.

“On this occasion, we emphasise the importance of implementing the Sinjar Agreement to restore stability and allow refugees to return home safely.

“Despite the tragedies faced by the Kurdish people, the Kurdistan Region remains a sanctuary for those seeking refuge from terrorism and violence in Iraq. We are proud of the active role Kurdish women have played in our history, from revolutions to uprisings.

“Since the Kurdish Uprisings of 1991 and the establishment of the Kurdistan Parliament and government, Kurdish women’s participation in politics and governance has significantly evolved. They now play a crucial role in our region’s development and progress.

“The KRG is dedicated to enhancing women’s participation in government and eradicating marginalisation and violence against them. We aim to empower Kurdish women to contribute effectively to the region’s development.

“We will collaborate with local and international entities to amplify the voices of women in Kurdistani Areas Outside the Region, especially the victims of ISIS. In the Kurdistan Region, as a federal entity within Iraq, we are dedicated to the implementation of Resolution 1325. We pledge to fulfil our obligations in this regard. Nevertheless, the execution of this resolution demands collective responsibility, necessitating cooperation, coordination, and the amalgamation of efforts from all parties involved.

“Once again, I congratulate you on this anniversary. I want to assure the women of the Kurdistan Region that I will continue to support their legitimate rights, empowering them to achieve their goals based on their merits. It is my commitment to ensure they have their rightful role and position in all spheres of society.”

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