Walaa Ali Farhan – Researcher intern in Al-Bayan center on issues of community security and sustainable development.
The concept of gender refers to social relations between the two sexes, as men and women exchange roles in social activity, at different levels and proportions, according to the nature of the economic, social and political system in which they live, and benefit from development in varying proportions, and live merchants of poverty in different ways; as a result of their different roles, and based on the social and economic restrictions imposed, and therefore equality between men and women is a prerequisite; to activate development programs and projects, and enhance their effectiveness to achieve equity and equality.
The issue of women’s empowerment is one of the key issues in the agenda of strategies for the advancement of society; therefore, according to the United Nations Development for women, we note that legislation and plans guarantee women their right to empowerment, and to define the UNIFEM fund “is collective action in oppressed societies to overcome, confront obstacles, and differentiations that reduce their status, or rob them of their rights”, and in order for women to become empowered as an individual or group, they must be aware of the way that strongly affects society, so they gain self-confidence, the ability to challenge is to gain equality with men.
The gender gap expresses the differences between the sexes, in political, intellectual, cultural and economic attitudes, the most important of which are the qualitative gap represented by laws and regulations, the quantitative gap represented by Statistics and figures on the difference between males and females in various fields, and the invisible gaps represented by beliefs, perceptions and prejudices that determine attitudes towards women, and the qualitative gap leads to the quantitative gap.
The interest in this topic comes from the United Nations Development Program 2030, in addition to international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of human rights of 1948, the international covenants of 1948, the international covenants of 1966, and the CEDAW convention of 1979, in order to achieve the most important goals of gender principles for gender equality and the empowerment of women in all facilities of Iraqi state institutions and ministries; because Iraqi working women suffer from social differences in their presence within institutions, so this paper examines the gender balance in workplaces in terms of career ladder, and the extent of equal opportunities between the sexes in leadership positions, as well as the gender integration gap in Iraqi state institutions.
First: the political participation of Iraqi women
Women’s political participation is a cultural phenomenon and one of the key issues reflecting the true structure of political and social systems. Conversely, women’s poor access to influential political decision-making, and the limited political effectiveness at the level of parliament, local councils and higher posts, is only a reflection of the fragility of the democratic system in the state. on the other hand, the weakness of the laws, the position of the authorities and the structure of public social awareness, and the deep-rooted ideology of society that puts obstacles to women’s political participation.
Iraqi women gained the right to vote in the elections in 1980, but the gap between them and men in the field of voting remained and did not decrease, and their contribution remained low in the most effective forms of political participation, and the political contribution of women remained less even after 2003 and the accompanying political change, with the political freedom granted by the Constitution to all regardless of gender, Article 14 of the Constitution states: “Iraqis are equal before the law without distinction as to sex, race, nationality, origin, colour, religion, belief, opinion, economic status or social status.
As for Article (15) of the Iraqi constitution stipulates that everyone has the right to life, security, and freedom, and these rights may not be deprived or restricted except in accordance with the law, and based on a decision issued by a competent judicial authority, as well as the provisions of Article (16) of the Iraqi constitution, which says that equal opportunities are guaranteed to all Iraqis, Article (20) on: (Both men and women citizens have the right to participate in public affairs and enjoy political rights, including the right to vote, elect and be nominated), but the issue of women’s political participation has remained subject to two main factors, namely socialization based on customs, traditions and stereotypes of women’s roles within society, and the second factor is the political will to support women’s political participation effectively.