National Action Plan: Iraq

Iraq's National Action Plan was launched  in February 2014 for the period 2014-2018, making it the first Middle Eastern country to adopt a NAP. Its development was led by the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government with cooperation between the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense in  Baghdad and Ministry of Interior and Women’s High Council in Kurdistan along with the Iraqi NAP1325 Initiative (I-NAP1325 Initiative). This initiative consists of women’s rights organizations and networks across Iraq and Kurdistan. The Iraqi NAP is unique in that it offers an extensive introduction and analysis of women in Iraqi society, and points out specific ways in legal, political, and economic arenas where women are discriminated against or marginalized. The substantive portion of the NAP is small relative to the introductory narrative, but the material that is provided is specific.


Iraqi society and Iraqi women in particular have suffered difficult conditions and catastrophes after several wars and economic sanctions that had a strong impact on women, and denied them – or at least partly led to denying them – access to their fundamental rights. Iraqi women have played an important part during times of armed conflicts and deterioration of social conditions. They have long struggled to maintain social order and ensure its sustainability. However, despite their early involvement in the process of construction and development and the role they play in shaping the future of Iraq and preserving its identity and unity, women are struggling on all levels to preserve their country, society, and family.  Meanwhile, women face challenges that question their right to equal access to leadership positions and consider national issues to be exclusively masculine.


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Iraq NAP (Arabic)

UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE: SPECIAL REPORT-UNSCR 1325 in the Middle East and North Africa Women and Security

Iraq's National Action Plan for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace and Security 2014 - 2018

WILPF International does not have a country section in Iraq and therefore was not involved in the development process of Iraq’s NAP.
Civil Society Actors

NAP Development

A network of civil society organizations organized an Iraqi NAP 1325 Initiative (I-NAP 1325 Initiative) that was instrumental in developing Iraq's NAP.

NAP Implementation

There are no specific Civil Society Organisations mentioned as implementers of the Iraqi NAP, but there are references to women's organisations, women's networks, CSOs broadly, and local NGOs to assist in certain activities.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

There is mention of CSOs, women's orgasations, and private sector involvement during the monitoring and evaluation process, but no specific organisations are mentioned.

Government Actors

NAP Development

The NAP was developed by the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, with input from the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense in Baghdad, and Ministry of Interior and Women's High Council in Kurdistan.

NAP Implementation

Iraq's NAP has these same actors implementing the NAP, in addition to: High Commission of HR, President's Office, Women Committee in Parliament, INGOs and UN agencies, Legal Committee in the Parliament, Committee for Women's Issues in the Prime Minister Office, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Justice and Judicial Council, Ministry of Education, Communication and Media Commission, and Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

Those tasked with monitoring and evaluating the NAP are: The Supreme Council for Women, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Human Rights Board and Ministry of HR, Women High Council, Ministry of Defense, and Ministry of Finance.


Iraq's NAP is organized into six pillars, which resemble the pillars outlined in UNSCR 1325. Each Pillar has a general objective, and then a set of strategic objectives:

  • Participation
  • Protection and Prevention
  • Promotion
  • Social and Economic Empowerment
  • Legislation and Law Enforcement
  • Resources mobilization and
  • M&E


  • Increase influence of women and women’s right approach in negotiation, civil peace and in political decision making
  • Improve the living conditions of women and ensure their rights and services and access to them therewith
  • Integration of UNSCR1325 on a national level
  • Women in Iraq have better economic conditions and are more independent
  • Harmonization national legislation with international standards and mechanisms for women’s rights, including UNSCR1325, annulling articles which violate women rights and promulgating/enacting legislations that protects and promotes them
  • Implementation of NAP1325 have the support of all actors and I-NAP1325 Initiative support effectively its monitoring

Strategic Objectives

For example, Pillar 3, Promotion, has the following strategic objectives:

  • Gender integration and mainstreaming in all policies and processes related to conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace-building in Iraq.
  • Raising awareness empowering women and enhancing their capacities through rights based approach.

For each strategic objective, the Iraqi NAP lists a series of actions. For example, for Pillar 4, Social and Economic Empowerment, under the first strategic objective - "Ensure the enjoyment of equal access of women and men to resources and opportunities during the transitional period", they list eight actions:

  • Awareness raising and advocacy activities towards local communities, government and international donor community.
  • Enacting policies providing equal opportunities for women and men in social, economic and political fields.
  • Identifying government intervention and reviewing the pension law for women for disabled and displaced women.
  • Introducing employment policies, allocating small project grants for establishment and development of cooperatives to support widows, especially those heads of households.
  • Updating government support to victims of war and human trafficking.
  • Reviewing and accelerating the adoption of the Social Security Act for workers and Labor Law to ensure the rights of working women.
  • Designing rights based programs for street children minors and orphans.
  • Involving the private sector and civil sector to support and empower housewives and uneducated women and girls, creating channels to allow them enter the labor market.
Iraq's NAP covers the period for 2014-2018, but does not offer timeframes to complete specific objectives or actions.

The Iraqi NAP provides an estimated budget for each of its six pillars, broken down into each pillar's strategic objectives by year.  Each objective has an allocated budget. For example, for Pillar 2, Protection and Prevention, they give the following (in USD):

Pillar 2                              Amount                   2014            2015               2016                 2017            2018

Strategic Objective 1         747,000                210,000           219,000            208,000            55,000            55,000

Strategic Objective 2      13,700,000            2,900,000         2,730,000         2,690,000          2,690,000        2,690,000

Subtotal                         14,447,000            3,110,000         2,949,000         2,898,000          2,745,000        2,745,000


For each action, Iraq's NAP provides indicators.  For example, under Pillar 1, Participation, for the first strategic objective - "Develop mechanisms to ensure sustainable effective and proportional participation of women in decision making positions (legislative, executive, judicial) on local and national level", they provide three indicators (one for each action):

  • Number of women and presence of women’s rights in formal peace building structures/process in Iraq.
  • Number of policies and laws enhancing women’s participation that have been enacted canceled or amended.
  • Percentage and position of women in the legislative executive and judicial bodies reconciliation committee.
Monitoring & Evaluation

Iraq's NAP sets forth the following actions in Pillar 6, Resource Mobilization and M&E:

  • Establishing monitoring and evaluation mechanism of governmental implementation of NAP enabling participation of the civil society as I-NAP1325 Initiative) and beneficiaries.
  • Institutionalize the participation of women’s rights NGOs in the monitoring and evaluation of the NAP.
  • Conduct capacity building programs for effective monitoring and evaluation of the NAP and develop capabilities in reporting.
  • Form coordination committees on local level or institutionalize implementation of NAP1325 through the reconciliation committees on national level.
  • Incorporate the National Action Plan in the periodic and sectorial plans, budget and programs.
  • Mobilize resources from development agencies and partner organizations and private sector.
  • Develop a coordination mechanism on local and national level, involving national and international partners in the process.
There is no mention of disarmament in Iraq's NAP despite the high level of conflict, flow of small arms and illicit weapons, and the effect weaponry has had on the civilian population, particularly women and children.