On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we reiterate our commitment to women rights, with continued efforts to eliminate gender-based violence.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kurdistan society, like many others around the world, is going through a challenging and difficult time. Women are facing a heavy burden of responsibilities both at home and workplaces, including those who work in the education and healthcare sectors. They have been on the frontline, fighting to protect and provide health and educational services to our children and to the wider community. I would like to thank all educators and healthcare employees, for your commitment and your ongoing service during these hard times.
The economic and financial crises caused by coronavirus, along with existing political tensions in our Region, have challenged women’s achievements. We reassure everyone that we are working with relevant government institutions to protect these achievements, eliminate gender-based violence and guarantee social justice. We also stand firmly beside you in your combat against bullying and harassment wherever they occur, whether at home, workplace or in any other public spaces.
Gender-based violence is a human right issue and concerns the whole of society. Men should play a more effective role, getting involved in activities for the elimination of violence so that they become part of the solution. During the coronavirus lockdown, men have become more aware of their role and duties at home; that home is not only a place to rest, but a place of shared duties with our mothers, sisters and wives, and place to participate in raising and educating our children.
We, at the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region, have been working with the government to provide support for the protection of women rights and elimination of gender-based violence. We encourage the international community to intensify their efforts to better support gender issues within government institutions in the Kurdistan Region. And we reassure women that this joint work and support to achieve our aims will continue.
I hope that the activities to combat gender-based violence will not be limited to this 16-days’ campaign, but become a daily effort, by both women and men, to ensure peace, equality and justice.
President of the Kurdistan Region