As the political crisis and popular discontent continue to be heard across Iraq, a group of women parliamentarians have decided, in an ultimate call for peace, that it is time for them to speak with one voice to denounce the violence. Along with the State Minister for Women’s Affairs and other women leaders, female MPs launched on 5 February 2013 a national initiative, the “Iraqi Women Platform for Lasting Peace”. The project, which received technical support from UNPD and UNAMI, aims to create a mechanism to contribute to sustainable peace and development in Iraq.
The first activity of the “Iraqi Women Platform for Lasting Peace” took place on 7 February 2013. The group distributed white flags as a symbol of lasting peace in Iraq. It also released a statement about the political crisis, stressing the need to find a solution through constructive dialogue and to stop all violent interventions.
Two days later, during a follow-up press conference, the women leaders reinforced their commitment to be part of a peaceful solution to the current crisis and called for concrete actions from all parties involved.
Statement of the Iraqi Women Members of Parliament (excerpts)
We are Iraqi Women Members of Parliament, and in order to ensure a bright future for the men and women of Iraq, we proclaim that we want no part in the loss of more lives and shedding of more blood. On behalf of the women seeking stability and justice in the country, we declare that only through peace can Iraq be built.
The crisis appears to be complicated, with many parties involved, but we all believe that Iraqi leaders - both women and men - are capable of resolving the crisis and tackling its reasons wisely and consciously.
We reject violence in all its forms. We condemn terrorism and murders all over Iraq. We assert the constitutional rights of the people in peaceful demonstrations. And we further assert the responsibility of the armed forces in protecting the demonstrators and respecting their legitimate prospects.
We urge the women of Iraq, mothers and wives from all across the country, to speak with one powerful voice from now on against violence and violations.
We express our willingness in active, serious actions: meeting with the demonstrators, listening to the citizens, communicating the demands and institutionalizing and reforming the political and development processes.
We will keep claiming: peace and security for our country. Peace and security for our country.