UNFPA, MOI KRI launch SafeYou App, helping women and girls in Kurdistan be protected from gender-based violence
17 December 2021
17 December 2021; Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq - Today, the Ministry of Interior in the Kurdistan Regional Government, the General Directorate of Combatting Violence against Women and Families (DGCVAW) and UNFPA launched the SafeYou application in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The SafeYou application helps prevent women from being subjected to violence and provides a forum where individuals can get advice about services on gender-based violence.
SafeYou connects women and girls who are at risk of violence, harassment, and abuse with skilled protection forces who can support survivors of gender-based violence. The application also educates them about their rights, health and life skills.
In addition, the application offers a Help button, which, when clicked, sends the user’s location to the trained police as well as the people who they trust and can turn to for help. This service is free of charge and all information received through the app is confidential to secure the privacy of users.
Speaking at the press conference, the Minister of Interior at the Kurdistan Regional Government, Mr Rebar Ahmed, expressed the Government’s determination to protect women and girls in Kurdistan: “The Kurdistan Regional Government has zero tolerance towards perpetrators of gender-based violence. We work with each and every relevant party in the Region to put an end to all forms of violence. The SafeYou application makes us one step closer to achieving a violence-free society, and we will not stop until we reach this goal.”
For her part, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia said: “The SafeYou application will help women and girls, and their families feel safe. It is a new and additional tool for protecting them from violence. The SafeYou application will be linked to the 119 helpline managed by the trained officers of GDCVAW.”
Commenting on the launch, Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff at the office of President Nechirvan Barzani, Mr Ahmed Oathman: ”Eliminating gender-based violence has been and will remain a top priority of Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, and we commend UNFPA and KRG's Minister of Interior for providing a new way of reporting violence against females through SafeYou application.”
The conference was followed by a Q&A with Ms Kurdo Omer, Head of GDCVAW and Dr Columbia with the audience and media.