SRSG Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert meets with Civil Society representatives
13 August 2023
Baghdad, 13 August 2023
The UN Special Representative for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, accompanied by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, Mr. Claudio Cordone, met, on their request, with Iraqi civil society representatives to discuss the ongoing debate on terms such as “gender”, "equality" and “women’s empowerment”.
During his visit to Iraq last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk stated that these terms are universally accepted and crucial for, inter alia, combatting discrimination. He stressed: “The use of these terms is not in contradiction with any culture, religion or tradition”.
At today’s meeting, Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert said: “Much of the prevailing rhetoric is harmful, leading to serious threats and intimidation. It also distracts from the many challenges central to Iraq's future. Disinformation or attempts to ban universally accepted terms are not helping Iraq to achieve stability and prosperity. Quite the opposite. The rights and freedoms enshrined in the Iraqi Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for which Iraq voted in the UN General Assembly 75 years ago, apply to all Iraqis".