Statement Condemning Violence Against Women in Kurdistan


SEED Foundation condemns all violence perpetrated against women in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), and around the world. Today, we grieve the tragic loss and critical injury of four women that have taken place in the last month across the KRI. 

While the recent upsurge in cases reported by the media appears to indicate an increase in the instance of gender-based violence (GBV), the reality is much more terrifying. The continued threat to the lives of survivors and those at risk of GBV is indicative of a widespread crisis and of deeply ingrained violence and discrimination against women and girls in Iraq.

Iraq has the highest incidence of intimate-partner violence (IPV) in the world, with 45% of women reportedly experiencing IPV in the last 12 months. GBV in all its forms is a grave violation of human rights – including the right to life, freedom from discrimination, and the right to safety and security – and it must stop now. 

SEED Foundation stands with all survivors of GBV and remains committed to helping eliminate GBV across the KRI. We believe that gender equality is essential to achieve a more prosperous future for Kurdistan, and that a critical first step is the protection of, and prevention of violence against women and girls. In the home and in the local community, gender equality is a precursor to a happier, healthier, and safer existence for all. 

SEED works to support, empower, and protect survivors of GBV and those at-risk across the KRI. We use a multifaceted approach to prevent and respond to GBV, including systemic change through advocacy and policy efforts at the institutional level, building the protection capacity of front line service providers, and providing trauma-informed, comprehensive care to survivors of violence and those at-risk.

SEED Foundation commends the Kurdistan Regional Government for its continued efforts to support survivors through the Department of Combating Violence Against Women and in Families (DCVAW), as we continue to provide protection capacity building through our ongoing partnership. 

Together we must bolster efforts to challenge the toxic masculinity and patriarchal social norms that continue to result in violence. Together we must advocate for the prosecution of perpetrators and the strengthening of the Kurdistan Region Law to Combat Domestic Violence, Law No.8 of 2011, to ensure a more robust and survivor-centered approach to addressing all forms of GBV against all women and girls in society. Together we must face the growing threats of GBV facilitated through technology, online, and in social media. 

If you, or someone you are concerned for, are experiencing violence, you can find free and confidential help for yourself or others at an NGO like SEED, or call DCVAW (119). SEED is here and ready to support you. You can email SEED at,  or call SEED at 0751 741 6391 (for Erbil and Sulaimania) or 0751 740 6826 (Duhok). 

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 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.

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