March 15, 2022; Baghdad, Iraq, – Every year, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect and commit to challenging gender norms, empowering each other, breaking stereotypes, celebrating diversity and taking climate action. . Over the past week, the UN in Iraq has launched an advocacy campaign to remind us all that women and girls play a critical role in climate change adaptation, mitigation and response within our communities, and that it is time to recognize their contribution.
This year’s theme, “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future”, is designed to recognize the contributions of women and girls around the world and is aligned with the priority theme of the upcoming 66th Status Commission. of Women (CSW66): “Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls in the context of climate change, environment and disaster risk reduction policies and programs.
Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is essential, especially since Iraq is among the five countries most affected by climate change. Record rainfall, water scarcity and rising temperatures are having a huge impact on the most vulnerable communities, especially women and girls. They constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources that climate change threatens. At the same time, women and girls are practical and influential leaders and agents of change for climate change adaptation and mitigation; they are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation leads to more effective climate action. Supporting women in sustainable entrepreneurship and trade can help mitigate climate change by enabling them to be more active in global value chains. On the other hand, the leadership role of women presents both opportunities and constraints to increase empowerment, for women and girls to have a voice and be equal actors in decision-making. Sustainability is essential for development and greater gender equality; without equality, today, a sustainable future and a similar future remain beyond our reach.
“Everyone must stand with women and girls to accelerate the achievement of SDG 5, through the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls,” said the Resident Coordinator Vojáčková-Sollorano, adding: “This is a time when we should all come together to work for transformative climate action and to reverse gender inequalities in order to have an inclusive, more equitable and sustainable for all of us.
We call on the government, the international community and civil society organizations to ensure that the health, rights and dignity of women and girls are safeguarded and protected at all times. We need to listen to women’s voices and invest in their leadership and resilience. This also includes increasing women’s participation in the labor market through the promotion of decent work. Women bring communities together, lead climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, and women can drive reconciliation and ensure lasting peace.
Building on last week’s efforts, we will continue to unite to empower women and girls in Iraq to step up and take leadership positions to address challenges such as climate change and support the creating a better and more sustainable future for generations to come. .
Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq
Dina Zorba, UN Women Representative, Iraq and Yemen
Ally Raza Qureshi, WFP Representative, Iraq
Maha Kattaa, ILO National Coordinator, Iraq
Danielle Bell, Representative, OHCHR, Iraq
Salah El-Hajj Hassan, Representative, FAO, Iraq
Rita Columbia, Representative, UNFPA, Iraq
Eric Buchot, ITC country program manager in Iraq
Zena Ali Ahmad, Resident Representative, UNDP Iraq