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Gender equality in the decision-making processes of post-war societies: evidence from Iraqi Kurdistan

Bagheri, S. ORCID: (2022) Gender equality in the decision-making processes of post-war societies: evidence from Iraqi Kurdistan. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 14 (2). pp. 622-647. ISSN 1757-9627

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/jhuman/huab029


During the war with Islamic State in northern Iraq (2014–17), a notable number of Kurdish women joined the Peshmerga (Iraqi-Kurdish fighters), the military forces of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in an effort to prevent Islamic State’s advance into the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Besides causing international resonance, the presence of women fighters was publicized by the KRG as a sign of modernity and gender equality. However, once the war ended, in the peace negotiations between the KRG and the Iraqi central government, the role of Kurdish women was drastically reduced. By examining the events that took place in Kirkuk before and after Islamic State and the diplomatic followup, this article analyses the role of women in a war to peace transition, focusing specifically on the power-sharing process to ensure that their effective and equal participation in decision-making is respected. The article provides an insight into respect for international human rights law, management of gender equality and the role of women in legal and political systems against the backdrop of the clash over Kirkuk and a complex power-sharing process in post-war Iraq.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:101945
Publisher:Oxford Academic


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