Archiv für die Kategorie ‘In eigener Sache’
Für die Spielerinnen des Vereins aus Halabja ist klar: Der Kampf um den Ball und der Kampf für die Rechte von Mädchen und Kindern gehören zusammen. Häusliche Gewalt, Zwangsehen und Ehrtötungen von Mädchen sind in der gesamten kurdischen Gesellschaft verbreitet.
Deshalb unterstützen die Spielerinnen des Mädchen Fußball Clubs Halabja eine Aufklärungskampagne, die unter dem Slogan „You can’t beat me“ für Mädchenrechte und den Schutz vor Gewalt und Ausbeutung wirbt. Dies war ein Wunsch der Mädchen und auch ihre Familien unterstützen sie dabei. Mit ihrem öffentlichen Auftreten für ihren Sport und die Rechte von Mädchen sind sie ein Vorbild für viele andere in der Region.
Viele Mädchen in Irakisch-Kurdistan möchten Fußball spielen. Doch die Möglichkeiten sind begrenzt. In nur wenigen Orten haben sich bislang Sportclubs für Mädchen gegründet. Es fehlt an Knowhow, an Plätzen, an Unterstützung. Eine reguläre Liga existiert nicht. WADI fördert die Bemühungen von Mädchen, Vereine zu gründen und setzt sich dafür ein, dass eine regionale Mädchenfußball-Liga entsteht. Unterstützen Sie die Kampagne und fördern auch Sie Sportprojekte mit Mädchen.
In the Middle East, women who want to play football are often met with either disapproval or prohibition, but not the girls in Halabja, Iraq. In this Kurdish town marked by Saddam Hussein’s notorious 1988 poison gas attack and a long period of domination by conservative Islam, it is football which is now offering women a way forward. Hivos and partner organisation Wadi are supporting the Halabja Girls on their way.
Problems such as female genital mutilation, domestic violence and arranged marriages are hard to fight without a support network. Football is not just a physical outlet for girls and women in Halabja, but a welcome opportunity to leave the house, meet with their peers and be active. It gives girls a “time-out” from omnipresent gender roles and helps them gain the strength and self-confidence to develop their own ideas of a life beyond the rigid demands of tradition.
Although in 2011 legislation (law No. 8) was passed in Iraqi Kurdistan to prohibit domestic violence against women and children, the practice is still prevalent. So the girls campaign against domestic violence with the appropriate slogan “You can’t beat me” and hope thus to encourage vigorous enforcement of this law.
More and more girls in the region are joining football teams. For the 12-year-old Dastan, top scorer of her team in Halabja, the right to play sports is intimately linked to the right to grow up free from oppression and violence.
Find out more about how Wadi and Hivos are supporting women’s football teams in Iraqi Kurdistan.
In anderen Teilen des Irak finden gerade heftige Kämpge mit den Terroristen von ISIS statt, Menschen sind zu Zenhtausenden auf der Flucht, die Zukunft ist ungewiss. Irakisch-Kurdistan dagegen ist ruhig, das Leben geht normal seinen Gang (hoffen wir alle, dass es so bleibt) und auch WADI arbeitet weiter, ebenso unsere lokalen Partner. Partner, mit denen wir sowohl in Kirkuk, Bagdad als auch dem Südirak kooperieren sind ebenfalls alle wohlauf.
Aus Halabja erreichten uns gerade diese Bilder über die neuesten Sommeraktivitäten von Radio und Frauenzentrum:
Hannah Wettig, the coordinator of Stop FGM Middle East, a joint project of Wadi and Hivos, held a lecture at Bold Talks Women Dubai on May 31, 2014:
On 23 May a 45 year-old man brutally murdered his 15-year-old child bride, Dunya. He cut off her breasts, gouged her eyes, shot her nine times and later dragged her body behind a car.
Many women and men have taken to the streets across Kurdistan to protest against this murder and so many other cases of violence against women and forced and underage marriages.
On June 2Zhyan (‘Life’) Group, Wadi is a founding member of, organized a demonstration in Suleimani city.
The protest started with a silent vigil, followed by statements in which the organizers called the authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder and bring all responsible for Dunya’s forced marriage and death to justice.
The participants marched through the crowded bazaar chanting “Stop marrying off children” and “No to violence against women”.
Piroza! Heute feierte das Frauenzentrum in Halabja sein zehnjähriges Jubiläum. In dieser Zeit haben tausende von Frauen die verschiedensten Kurse besucht, Lesen und Schreiben gelernt, an Seminaren teilgenommen oder einfach im Cafe zusammengesessen. Als wir vor zehn Jahren das Zentrum eröffneten, lag der Stur Saddam Husseins kein Jahr zurück, Halabja war bis ins Jahr 2003 hinein von radikalen Islamisten kontrolliert, Frauen konnten sich kaum in der Öffentlichkeit zeigen, geschweige denn sich organisieren.
Dank der Unterstützung so vieler unterschiedlicher Spender und Sponsoren wear es uns möglich, so lange dieses Zentrum zu unterstützen und seine Arbeit zu begleiten. Vieles hat sich seitdem verändert. Ein langer Atem zählt! Und wir hoffen, auch in den nächsten zehn Jahren mit dem, inzwischen als eigenständige lokale NGO registrierten, Zentrum weiter zu arbeiten.
Her Report portraing Wadi’s Iraq Co-ordinator Falah Murad:
Falah Murad Shakarm is a founder of the Zhyan group that endeavors to shed light on women’s issues in Iraqi Kurdistan, and particularly focuses on the eradication of honor killings. “In the last two years we organized more than 30 protests and public meetings for raising awareness about women’s rights,” he said. “Today 26-3, when I’m busy answering you, I presented a case in court on behalf of the Zhyan group [in which a] husband killed [his wife] after he was released with [a pardon] decree in 2012.”
If there is hope for Kurdish women, it lies with activists like Falah Murad Khan Shakarm. He’s lived through all of the March’s, surviving the March 1988 chemical bombings in Halabja and the March 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein in Rania. He’s lived through this March, hoping for women’s rights with the Nawroz New Year, and he’ll be fighting next March, and every month in between.
“I think women in Kurdistan started their silent revolution against all back-worded morals and the patriarchal system…but I see hope and people now are more educated,” he said. Still, he continued, “Women in Kurdistan, Iraq and all of the Middle East need freedom, respect and they need to be accepted us human beings. They need an environment with rule of law to protect them and they need to be present in all fields of life. They need an independent economy and less of a patriarchal system.”
On February 6th, the eleventh international Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, a number of media outlets have picked up on the topic of Female Genital Mutilation in Asia. Many non-governmental und international organizations tackling FGM, including the World Health Organization, still don’t mention the existence of FGM in many Asian countries. Breaking the silence is a first step to saving millions of girls in these countries from being mutilated. WADI and Hivos stressed this in their press declaration on this year’s February 6th. Therefore, we are happy that many journalists have now brought out this message. In several cases Stop FGM Middle East and WADI were able to provide information.
De Vokskrant, the largest newspaper of the Netherlands also reported on the work of Wadi in Iraqi Kurdistan on February sixth. On February 7th, they ran a long story on FGM in Indonesia, underlining the importance to stop ignoring the brutal tradition in Asia.
Y-Magazin, an Omani English language culture and lifestyle magazine, ran a large feature article on FGM in Oman quoting the activist Habiba al Hinai, presenting her study and mentioning Stop FGM Middle East mission in Oman.
The Iraqi Kurdish channel KNN interviewed Wadi’s women project coordinator Souaad Abdelrahman in Suleymania. And the Kirkuk Torture Center published a declaration condemning FGM.
By HIVOS and WADI; The Hague, Suleimania 5 February, 2014.
On the fourth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice is far from being eradicated. While the numbers of mutilated girls are decreasing in Africa after decades of concerted efforts, large regions where FGM is practiced are entirely neglected in this worldwide battle. This is particularly true for Asia. The practice is widespread in Indonesia and Malaysia, it exists in Iran, Iraq, and Jordan. In several countries of the Arabian peninsula FGM is practiced by relevant parts of the population.
These countries need to make an effort to fight FGM among their population. We also call upon Indonesia and Malaysia, where the practice is legally carried out in hospitals, to ban FGM and initiate a strong campaign against it. In some Arab countries and Iran the practice is not legal in hospitals, yet governments shy away from tackling the issue. As a first step reliable studies must be conducted and a campaign initiated. In some countries authorities must stop censuring voices that talk about FGM.
In Europe FGM deserves far more attention. The United Kingdom has seen an immense campaign this last year against the practice common among several migrant communities in Britain. France has taken some action. Yet, little to no campaigning has been seen in other European countries – even though migrant communities known to practice FGM are present in most European countries. It is more than likely that some have kept their tradition and practice FGM in their new homeland – just as has been found out for Britain. FGM can certainly not be viewed as a solely British problem. Governments and politicians all over Europe need to take initiative.
Through partners WADI is helping to implement some projects in Syrian Kurdistan like a playbus, a community radio station etc…
Wadi’s accountant Kumry, who is originally from Syria, helped to make this small film explaining how these projects work and translating from Sorani Kurdish to Kurmanshi and Arabic.
This film is a small example of cross border help:
For Friday night the NGO network Zhyan group has called to protest in front of the Parliament’s building of Iraqi-Kurdistan in Suleymaniah. With the slogan Start Dealing With Crimes Against Women in Iraqi-Kurdistan they present a list of demands to the Kurdish Parliament and Government.
Around 200 people attended the event and fifty stayed all night long. Dozens of parliamentarians joined for open discussion and the local media broadly reported, for example here.
Suleymaniah, January 23rd 2014
Zhyan Group, a women right’s network of more than thirty different NGOs and activist in Iraqi-Kurdistan, is organizing a protest in Suleymania in front of the Kurdish parliament. Starting on Friday, January 24th this event will continue for 48 hours, day and night protesting against the way the Kurdish Government has been dealing with crimes against women during the last two months.
While there has been much talk in public how the government cares about women rights, in practice not much happened when it comes to implementing the law against domestic violence or to persecute crimes.
Therefore, Zhyan group has prepared a four-page list of recommendations to improve the situation of women in Iraqi-Kurdistan.
- A serious follow up of six cases of murders of women that happened during the last two months.
- Real persecution of six young men who raped a 16-year old Syrian refugee in Erbil.
- Stop releasing prison inmates who were trialed for killing women through amnesty laws (weiterlesen…)
A woman in the Suleymania women’s shelter committed suicide by burning herself on 29th December 2013. This caused a fire in the shelter and two more women living in the shelter were injured by the fire.
This shelter meant to protect women who are victims of domestic violence was opened by WADI in 1999. In 2002, responsibility was taken over by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Since then WADI has been monitoring the conditions in this and other women’s shelters which are now operated by the government in Kurdistan. Conditions have been constantly deteriorating since the government took over responsibility starting from the poor state of facilities to a lack of counseling.
In 2010, WADI published a report about the conditions of women shelters and suggested many recommendations to the government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs but to avail.
This accident is a result of this neglect. According to law number 8 for combating violence against women, every woman should have access to a shelter for protection. The prime minister mentioned in his speech only on 25th November that shelters are available.
However, we see in reality that they don’t serve their purpose. We feel sorry for the life of this victim and we wish other women to recover soon and hope that this accident fastens the process of reform in women shelters in Kurdistan.
Deutsche Welle about the Campaign against FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan and Wadi’s Free FGM Village program:
“Circumcision brought us problems. It is much better for husband and wife when it is not happening.” The mokhtar of Twtakal, a small village in Iraqi Kurdistan is very clear about it. The practice of FGM, or female genital mutilation, should be eradicated.
The village chief is proud that his village has stopped circumcising its women, where only two years ago still every mother had it done to her daughters. It was a bad habit, Kak Sarhad told DW. “For men, who have all these layers, it is cleaner. But women don’t have that and don’t need it.”
The elder women of the village do not agree. “It has been done for generations. Our mothers and grandmothers did it. We had no problems with our husbands, no divorces,” say some village women, gathered on the floor in the mokhtar’s house.
Twtakal is one of the six villages that became “FGM Free,” in a project launched by the German-Iraqi organisation WADI. The isolated village which houses 13 families is one of the success stories, and illustrates a slow trend toward a decline in the practice in Iraqi Kurdistan. Until recently, research done by WADI showed an over 60 percent prevalence of FGM in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This summer, Kurdish scientists published new figures that seem to imply smaller numbers of young girls are touched by it, with their percentage down to about 35.
Millions of Syrians are living in refugee camps and are awaiting winter now. Like the ones in Arbat Camp near Suleymaniah.
Since yesterday it is raining without interruption and got cold. So they have to spent winter in wet tents and without proper heating. And still the situation in Arbat is not as bad as in many other camps, because it is quite small and additionally a variety of organizations is assisting the refugees.
Today Hanar Group, a network of Suleymaniah based NGOs WADI is a member of, again distributed some aid to the refugees. This was possible thanks to a campaign of some students from the American University of Suleymaniah, who have collected this money.
Die Delegation besuchte außerdem verschiedene Projekte in Halabja, so auch das von Wadi mitinitiierte Radio Dangue Nwe und das Halabja Frauenzentrum. Spontan gab der Konsul Dangue Nwe ein Interview (hier nachzuhören). Besonders beeindruckt zeigte sie sich sich über die lockere Atmosphäre in Radio und Frauenzentrum. Man wisse ja gar nicht, so hieß, wer “hier der Chef sei und wer der Fahrer”.
Seit Früjahr 2013 sind Frauenzentrum und Radio als eigene lokale Organisation registriert und erhalten so auch Unterstützung von der kurdischen Regionalregierung.
Today Amr from Nature Iraq showed us around in the beautiful area of Piramagrun mountains a bit north of Suleymaniah. They have the ambitious plan to turn this area into the first internationally recognized National Park of Iraqi-Kurdistan. Thanks to their initiative the parts of the marshes in Southern Iraq that were destroyed and dried up by Saddam Hussein are rehabilitated today and Iraq’s first National Park.
In Piramagrun a unique nature should be preserved with a high biodiversity, but it is also planned to create picnic areas as well as educational and hiking trails. Wadi hope to be of help for this project.
Here some pictures of the area:
Members of Iraqi-Kurdistan’s only English language Women’s Right magazine “You Magazine” voluntarily collected donations in the campus of the American University to help Syrian refugees in the Arbat camp near Suleymaniah.
Today they handed it over to WADI.
The money will be used to support children in the camp.
Twenty years ago Iraqi-Kurds needed emergency assistance from abroad, now they are helping others who became refugees.