Women Leading the Way to Inclusive Peace in Iraq

Women Voice's First

Project Description

The “Women’s Voices First” project is being carried out by Cordaid in collaboration with our donor, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in the UK. Our project is based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), issued in 2000, that has been an important turning point in striving to end violence against women during armed conflicts and represents the beginning of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in conflict-affected areas worldwide. Iraq was the first country in the MENA region to adopt UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda. The Iraqi Council of Ministers approved a National Action Plan (NAP) to be included in its nationwide strategy for the advancement of women’s status as of April 2014.

As part of the British NAP & UNSCR 1325, this 2.5-year program will establish effective partnerships between approximately 36 Iraqi civil society organizations (CSOs) and women’s rights organizations (WROs) to promote the WPS agenda. Within this program, the partners aim to support strong, resourceful women and men in Iraq to strengthen resilient communities. The overall goal as formulated is targeting Iraqi grassroots women-led, feminist, and women’s rights organisations that are self-reliant and interconnected, advancing a localized, transformative WPS agenda, contributing to inclusive peace and security in communities across federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

This program also aims to deepen local partnerships through capacity building, lobbying, and advocacy, as well as information and knowledge sharing. Learning and critical reflection through plenary workshops over the course of the project will strengthen the collective efforts to enable women and men to play an important role as bridge builders and change agents at different levels in Iraqi society.

Current Partner Project Information

For the first financial year of this program, Cordaid published a Call for Applications across federal Iraq and the KRI on various organizational platforms. Although several excellent applications were submitted and the selection process was difficult, Cordaid narrowed them down to the top 13 local grassroots, women-led, feminist, and women’s rights organisations in which we will partner with in the first round of funding. These local CSOs represent the ethnic and religious diversity of several communities across several governates across the country and Cordaid is excited to be working alongside our new partners for advancing the WPS agenda. 


  • 37

    Number of total funded projects for three cycles of funding

  • 30491

    Number of Direct Beneficiaries in First Year/Round of Funding:

  • 36

    Target Number of Local Partners by End of Project (2024)

  • 19

    Number of Iraqi Governorates Benefiting from First Year/Round of Funding

    National – All 19 Governorates
  • 25

    Number of Iraqi Cities Directly Benefiting from First Year/Round of Funding:

    14 Major Cities across Federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq are benefiting directly from Specialized Projects, although six out of our 19 Partners are working at a national level to target all Iraqi Cities/Governorates.