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Compassion In Kenya

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Compassion CBO

Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas of Kenya and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

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COFAPRI

COFAPRI is registered in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Grassroots News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Asha Leresh

How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

Asha’s luck came when Samuel Siriria Leadismo, the Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation and his team visited her village, creating awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual reproductive health....
Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Compensation Claims Board 2

The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

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Female leaders and high-ranking civil servants in Iraqi Kurdistan have been removed from their posts and replaced by men in recent months, raising concerns that women are losing power in government.

Women’s rights organizations cheered a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) initiative to appoint women to ministerial, mayoral and other key decision-making posts over the past several years. However, Sulaimani province, which had three women mayors in mid-sized cities, now has no female mayors and the number of female heads of municipalities and department general-directors are on the decline.

According to a Rudaw investigation, of 27 female general-directors, mayors, and municipal chiefs in Sulaimani province, only 10 still hold their posts.

We can do what men do

Shirin Salih, the mayor of Qaradgh in Sulaimani province, was one of the leaders removed from her position. Now a housewife, she maintained the role of women in government is diminishing daily.

“Any woman who reaches a high-level government position without the backing of the Kurdish political parties will face all kinds of trouble and barriers,” she said.

“We can do what men do,” Salih said. “But it seems the KRG doesn’t believe in our abilities. That’s what happened – otherwise, why are the women who were removed being replaced by men?”

Politics

“If a woman has no support of a political party leadership, she will face all sorts of challenges and obstacles to make her life difficult,” said Munira Abubakir, the former mayor of the mountainous resort town of Dukan. “But when it comes to talking about the role of women, they say all the right things.”

Sulaimani’s Attorney-General, Naz Nuri, was the most recent high-ranking woman to be replaced by a man.

Narmin Osman, a leading member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which runs Sulaimani province, expressed her concern about the trend, saying women are also underrepresented in the party.

“In the future we will submit a report about this issue to the PUK leadership,” said Osman. “This phenomenon exists in the PUK ranks as well. We have already submitted a formal request to our party leadership to increase the quota for women in the PUK to 20 percent”

Female mayor - an insult

Abu Bakir, the former mayor of Dukan, said society and tradition is partly to blame.

“Tribal leaders and elderly men have visited (KRG Prime Minister) Barham Salih, Kurdistan Region President (Massoud Barzani) and other party officials many times and complained that having a female mayor was an insult,” said Abu Bakir.

In the previous KRG cabinet there were three women ministers, including a minister for women’s affairs, but in the current government there is only one woman minister and the ministry for women’s affairs was dissolved.

“Unfortunately our government is giving in to social customs that impact civil and democratic progress,” said Pakhshan Zangana, a women’s rights activist and president of the KRG’s Women’s Council, which represents women’s interests in the region.  

“Our council doesn’t have a budget yet,” she added. “If they give our council enough power and value, we can achieve a lot.”

Women's participation not a priority

However, Kwestan Muhammad, a member of the Change Movement (Gorran) believes that the KRG has never prioritized giving women more power.

“From the very beginning, women’s participation was not a priority for the current government, so it’s not surprising that they’re replacing women officials with men,” she said. “But in the Kurdish Parliament, this issue has been legally addressed, i.e. when a female MP is removed from her post, the person that replaces her has to be a woman as well.” 

Ministry of Interior chief of staff Jalal Kareem dismissed claims that the KRG is systematically removing women from their posts.

“Governmental posts are not bequeathed and we can’t always find a female mayor to replace another because we appoint officials based on their experience,” he said. “We don’t have vacant mayoral posts to give to women at the moment. We don’t replace female officials with men systematically.”