“His verbal attacks were merciless,” says Gemila, a 28-year-old Syrian refugee, about her husband. UNFPA Turkey is running safe spaces funded by the European Commission - Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations - ECHO to help survivors of gender-based violence like Gemila.
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While the number of child marriages occurring among Syrian refugees in Iraq is not available, research conducted among Syrian refugees elsewhere suggests a link between the poverty and instability facing displaced families like Aysheh’s, and rising pressure for girls to get married. Feeling helpless, Aysheh sought help from the UNFPA-supported Zahrat Al-Yasamin women’s social centre in the camp.
"I was so desperate, I had lost hope. Committing suicide seemed the only escape from the abuse, back then," Fatima* said in an interview earlier this month. "I didn't know how to handle the pain." A mother of eight, Fatima has been married for about two decades.
Voicing concern over proposed amendments to laws governing marriage in Iraq - in particular the ambiguity over the legal age of marriage - senior United Nations officials called on the country to ensure adequate protection for children across Iraq.
"There are lots of setbacks in life, but what matters is standing up again," said 33-year-old Cojine*. She would know. She endured years of spousal abuse. It began four years ago, when a classmate asked her to marry him. She agreed.
Pari Ibrahim, 27, is the founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF), an independent, non-profit organization that provides services for women survivors of the violent ISIS attacks on the Yezidi community, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
On 19 September, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations in Geneva, human rights activists and UN Women participated in a side event of the 36th Human Rights Council, where they discussed the "Impact of Terrorism on the Rights of Women".
The Iraqi Government must ensure that the thousands of women and girls who survived sexual violence by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) terrorist fighters receive care, protection and justice, and that children born because of such violence do not face a life of discrimination and abuse, a United Nations report published today says.
Former refugee, Rez Gardi is the first female Kurdish lawyer in New Zealand and Young New Zealander of the Year 2017. Rez believes International Women’s Day is an important time to celebrate the accomplishments of women and support one another to achieve their goals.
The United Nations focal point for ending conflict-related sexual violence is in Iraq where she today met with survivors of rape and other abuse by the Islamic State (ISIL).