Erbil, Iraq – May 9, 2022: SEED Foundation (SEED) has officially completed the delivery of a comprehensive training module on Technology Facilitated Gender-Based Violence (TFGBV) to a group of 30 Iraqi NGOs. The first of its kind in Iraq, this full-day training module is part of a larger protection and gender-based violence (GBV) training program designed to build the skills and capacity of local NGOs operating in Ninewa and largely serving conflict affected communities and returnees.
While there is an alarming increase in TFGBV globally, the consequences that women living in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region can, and have experienced, are tragic. Iraq has the highest incidence of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the world, with over 45% of women reportedly experiencing IPV in the last 12 months – according to the latest Women, Peace and Security Index1. The situation was worsened by the arrival of the pandemic, which introduced new financial stressors and isolated women in the home with their abusers. In 2022 alone, GBV has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 17 women across the country – approximately a 30% increase for the same period last year2; however due to damaging social norms that can result in mis-reporting, this number is likely much higher.
TFGBV is defined as any act of violence perpetrated against an individual based on their gender, whether it is committed or amplified using information and communication technology – including social media, messaging platforms and gaming websites. With an estimated 70% of the population connected to the internet and almost one mobile connection per person in the country, Iraq is well-connected3. Without robust regulation and legislative frameworks to address digital crime, TFGBV presents new challenges in how to protect those at risk, as well as prosecute perpetrators who are often difficult to identify and find.
In 2022, 30 national NGOs will complete SEED’s approximately six-month program, Protection and GBV Training Program, thanks to support from the US State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), completing three weeks of in-person instruction coupled with six on-the-job coaching sessions; which support the integration of their new skills in to their daily work.
The TFGBV training module will focus on five key topics:
- Legal measures, protections, and remedies
- Measures to support and empower survivors
- Capacity-building including of other NGOs and actors in the criminal justice system
- Community engagement and education
- Advocacy and collective action, such as partnerships and collaboration across sectors
Operating in an environment already struggling to curb endemic rates of GBV and “honor” killing, SEED has recognized the critical needs of young women across the region. That’s why SEED is taking the lead on TFGBV in Kurdistan and beyond – in neighboring areas of Iraq, having recently led the establishment of an Iraq-wide inter-agency TFGBV Task Force which is charged with strengthening mechanisms for preventing and responding to cases of TFGBV across Iraq.
SEED Foundation is a local NGO in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, committed to protecting, empowering, and supporting the recovery of survivors of violence and others at risk. Our approach to this mission is integrative and holistic. We provide quality and comprehensive services, including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), legal, protection, and shelter services; training, capacity building, and education to those working to protect and serve survivors; and policy and advocacy to strengthen laws, policies, practices and protections for vulnerable people, and promote social change.
For more information, please contact:
- Marley Tinnock, Communications Manager: email@example.com, +964 750 809 8541
- SEED Foundation Media: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, https://hengaw.net/en/news/annual-report-from-march-2021-to-march-2022-on-violence-against-women-in-kurdistan