SEED Foundation Reaffirms Commitment to Combating Violence Against Women and Girls By Launching Activities for
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

UNITE! Invest to Combat Violence Against Women and Girls
Erbil, Iraq – November 25-December 10, 2023: Every year, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence provides an opportunity to raise awareness and spark action to combat violence – physical, psychological, sexual, social, or economic – that stems from inequality between men and women.
Iraq has one of the largest gender gaps worldwide, ranking 154 among 156 countries, – taking into account women’s economic participation and opportunity (22.8%), educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Iraq also has the highest rate of Intimate Partner Violence globally, with 45% of women reporting that they have experienced violence in the past 12 months, and alarmingly, approximately 50% of women and girls surveyed by UN Women in 2021, have experienced technology-facilitated GBV (TFGBV) or know someone who has. While the scale of the issue is vast, the capacity to respond in a comprehensive and effective manner does exist, and through this campaign, we can unite local actors to end GBV.
Between November 25th and December 10th, SEED Foundation, under the global theme ‘UNiTE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls’, reaffirms its commitment to end violence for all, through a series of key events and awareness raising initiatives across Kurdistan.
On December 3rd, SEED will co-host a 1-day conference in its capacity as co-chair of the GBV Sector Coordination Group (SCG), alongside the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA). In 2023, SEED was made co-chair of the GBV SCG, established following the deactivation of the UN-led Cluster System, and the nation’s subsequent transition from a humanitarian to a development designation. This is the first locally-led coordination mechanism of its kind globally, providing an opportunity for local NGOs and the Government to work together to combat GBV, protecting the critical gains on GBV prevention and protection that were achieved during a humanitarian crisis, and ensuring continued prioritization of GBV needs. The conference aims to bring together NGOs, UN Agencies, the Government, academia, and representatives of the diplomatic corps, to highlight the progress made by GBV actors in the year following the transition, as well as to identify critical needs, and discuss opportunities to capitalize on the immense capacity and technical expertise of local actors, including on TFGBV, one of the most pervasive and misunderstood forms of violence today.
This conference in Erbil will follow those held in Sulaimani (November 26th) and Duhok (November 26th), which were hosted by the respective Working Group Co-Chairs in those locations, in coordination with the local government directorates of DCVAW and MOLSA.
In order to engage youth and civil society in the 16 Days of Activism, SEED will also be hosting a series of awareness workshops in six universities (University of Sulaimani, University of Raparin, University of Halabja, University of Garmyan, Salahaddin University, and Duhok Polytechnic University), focusing on TFGBV and helping to educate youth on how to identify online violence, report it, and support others who might experience it. The sessions will be led by trained Psychosocial Support Facilitators, under the umbrella of the ‘You and Your Conscience / خۆت و ویژدانت’ Campaign – an initiative of the Iraq National TFGBV Task Force, which SEED chairs.
Rounding out SEED’s activities, legal awareness sessions will be provided to community members, and fifth year law students from across the region, helping individuals understand their rights in relation to GBV, and a series of art and entrepreneurship activities are being hosted to empower and raise awareness among survivors of violence and those at-risk.
The 16 Days of Activism is much needed, but systemic and social change requires long-term, locally-led commitment. Invest to prevent violence against women and girls!

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:, +964 750 809 8541
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