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PRESS RELEASE October 7, 2018

Towards Women’s Economic Empowerment in Iraq

Baghdad, October 7, 2018 – The World Bank Group, the Government of Iraq, and the Government of Canada launched today a US$1.95 million grant to support Iraq’s efforts to strengthen systems and deliver programs to empower women economically and politically. 

The “Gender and Social Protection in Iraq: Towards Economic Empowerment” program consists of two complementary components: the first component will set in place long-term legislative and institutional capacity for gender mainstreaming, while the second will introduce programs that will support the economic and political empowerment of women in Iraq, including entrepreneurial programs for poor and vulnerable women.

We are excited to partner with the Government of Canada to support women’s empowerment in Iraq,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. “We are committed to supporting women in Iraq and we’ll work tirelessly to ensure that Iraqi women have the opportunity to participate fully in all facets of life and to contribute to Iraq’s socio-economic development.

This project contributes to the wider World Bank’s socio-economic intervention in Iraq and is consistent with the Iraq's Second Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Social Protection Strategic Framework.

The program will support the ongoing gender empowerment efforts led by the government” said H.E. Dr. Mehdi Al-Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers. “It will help us achieve women’s empowerment by reducing legal, institutional, and social constraints and unleash their talent and energy to make our economy and society stronger.

Canada recognizes that supporting gender equality and the empowerment of women is the best way to build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous Iraq,” said Ambassador Paul Gibbard, Canada’s first resident Ambassador to Iraq since 1991. “With our partners from the World Bank and the Government of Iraq, we will work to empower women so that they are able to play a vital role in establishing and maintaining peace in their communities—a necessary precondition for stronger economic growth in Iraq."

The “Gender and Social Protection in Iraq: Towards Economic Empowerment” program will entail a review of existing women’s empowerment programs and provide technical support through workshops and working sessions to government officials on enhancing the design and implementation of these programs, as well as on strengthening monitoring and evaluation schemes.  


Ebrahim Al-Harazi
Reem Hadi Suwaed
Embassy of Canada to Iraq
Diyar Farag