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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Calls for Greater Efforts to Secure Equal Rights and Opportunities of Women in Kurdish Regions
Monday, 08 March 2010 09:59

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all’. Today, as the lives and achievements of all women are celebrated globally, KHRP wishes to reiterate its calls for greater efforts to secure the equal rights and opportunities of women in the Kurdish regions to education, employment and political representation.

Through its case work, trial observations, fact-finding missions and research and public awareness activities, KHRP seeks to shine a light on the successes and obstacles of women and girls in the Kurdish regions.  There, as globally, there is a widespread lack of awareness of women’s rights under international law and women and girls face daily inequality within their public and private lives.

This lack of awareness of rights is exacerbated by restricted access to education and high levels of illiteracy amongst women. For a variety of reasons, many girls, particularly those living in rural areas, have either never been to school, or are often forced out of education at an early age. Women’s opportunities in employment and at gaining political representation are also curtailed. Those women who are employed earn much less than their male counterparts and many others are often limited to providing unpaid domestic work within the home. Poor awareness of rights and inequalities of opportunity within education, employment and politics means that many women do not have the means to challenge the status quo.

KHRP continues to highlight the barriers to the full realisation of women’s rights in the Kurdish regions.  This has included its case work before the European Court of Human Rights and its submissions to international bodies, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group; the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Alongside, KHRP trains local human rights advocates about women’s rights under international law and on how to use international instruments to advance these rights.

‘On International Women’s Day we want to encourage women and men in the Kurdish regions to come together to champion the equal rights of women’, said KHRP Chief Executive, Kerim Yildiz. ‘We also call on governments in the regions to take the necessary measures to ensure that women and girls can benefit from the same freedoms and opportunities as their male counterparts. Notably this includes allocating adequate resources to ensure legislation enacted to protect women’s rights is implemented.’