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International Women's Day: Award Ceremony in Iraq

Updated: Aug 8, 2018

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid and 9th Nissan District Council in Baghdad, hosted an award ceremony to pay tribute to 50 Iraqi women who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid organised today's event in order to recognise women who have demonstrated exceptional dedication in promoting and raising awareness of gender equality in Iraq.

Mahdiyah Abed Hassam, a member of 9th Nissan District Council, told us: “Women in Iraq are still fighting for equality. Our culture is very traditional, and many people are stuck in the past. We face many walls but events like today give not only support, but hope.”

Many of today’s recipients have faced challenges in carrying out their work, including threats of violence. Head of the Iraqi Women’s Committee, Samira Khalaf Alkabee, one of the first to receive an award, said: “I’ve been threatened by my co-workers, the community and even members of my own family. But that won’t stop me. Women have so much to offer and today’s event is a great celebration of those who have the courage to fight for change.”

Nadia Simoes, Executive Director of Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid added:

“Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid works in close cooperation with the international community and local community leaders to voice women’s perspectives and support decision makers in changing mind-sets and building equal opportunities for all.

“In addition to years of war, displacement and human suffering, countless women in Iraq live in fear of violence, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Despite these challenges, Iraqi women have nonetheless proven incredible strength and continued to strive to claim their rights, engage as decision makers and rebuild fair and safe environments for all.“


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