Promoting gender equality is the main factor of accessing women empowerment. Emma organization has been working to improve women’s statue in society and increasing female participation in all society areas. As women acquire opportunities to develop as men do, gender discrimination will be rated down. Eliminating internal barriers in women pulls women ahead to build ambition in them, and make them take action; in the end the women get all the improved aspects in life.in addition, to increasing women’s access to financial services, Emma organization works to teaching skills and building capacities, self-esteem, increasing their information and resources. Being empowered economically, gives women a higher ranked statue in community.
Emma organization offers community centers to provide vocational trainings skills to women and girls In Erbil,Shekhan,Duhok, Sharya, Dawdia,Bersive Esya camps.. Women get enriched in skills such as literacy, photography, handcraft, and sewing. While learning new skills, women get a chance to participate daily discussions held at the centers; it increases their knowledge about women’s right. The centers enable women to acquire skills, to stand for their economic rights, and become more decision maker in community. A number of the women set up their small business at home or in a small space, sometimes event marketing were launched so women can display their products.
In another hand, Emma organization has a special focus on Kurdish-Yezidi, as they faced ISIS war, they came to a dire environment with physical and psychological scars. Emma Organization helped the women through a strengthening program to support them overcome their trauma, and learn to speak out their rights. Emma provided psychologist and psychiatrists within community centers to help heal the deep physical and psychological scars that women and children endure after long periods in captivity, and to offer them a hope to rebuild their shattered lives. In another way Emma organization worked for Kurdish-Yezidian folk was holding seminars and meetings with stakeholder, social, religious people regarding to destiny of survivors war and children born out of rape.
Sharya Community Center
Supporting 12 girls enroll in education through monetary funds
During 2019, Emma organization supported 17 students with an amount of cash support monthly, with the amount of the money they could cover their transportation and stationaries. Among with the cash support, the psychologist continuously counseled them regarding Yezidian Genocide or their private situation. The girls kept meeting the psychologist every month, some of them came and talked about their private lives and requested support who are traumatized. In some other cases, the psychologist gathered them and helped them regarding their school issues.
The students were happy to use some relaxation activities they learnt by Emma psychologist during their studying time. Iman one of the students, said I failed in the exam, I was feeling very sad, but then I remember the exercises; Yoga, imagination, tapping, I learn at Emma. It helped me to dive into my thought rather than feeling hopeless.
Raw’a who is one of the students, her father got married a woman after her mother left them. She stated “ I was happy to get the tips Emma psychologist game as they knew we are getting a new member of family as mother in law. They taught me how to settle my new life and get ready for the new challenges comes to me, because people would defiantly will gossip.
The students followed the tips they got regarding the summer holiday, they engaged learning some new skills such as painting. And some of which went to other organizations to spend entertainment activities and learn new language for instance English.
PSS and Referral and Mobile Team
Emma Organization center in Sharya has been able to provide 215 women psychological support session frequently. The center became a place for women to build their capacities through providing trainings such as literacy, handcraft, bakery, and spreading social, psychological and gender awareness daily. The center also, became a place for women to gather and spend their free time with friends, and join an educational training such as painting. Psychologically, the center benefited the women due to sharing their stories through bead and art therapy. Some of the women, after taking some kind of vocational training, they have grown economically, and could bring a positive change to their lives.
Laila was a modest woman, as she joined the center. She did not talk and felt very shy. She was worried, claimed would not learn anything. Gradually she skilled in making handcrafts and became able to make beautiful hand crafts “ I love hand crafts a lot, I did not want to disconnect with working on the patterns I make, So sometimes I take the materials to home, until I finish a piece, now I am very skilled and know various techniques, I also sent them to my nieces and nephews in Germany”, said she.
Meeting with stakeholders
Ahlam and Layla are two survivors, who were held by ISIS in 2014. Fortunately, they returned back safety. On 22 August 2019 they met with German defense minister. The survivors, the minster and Emma director (Bahar Ali) discussed about Yezidi women situation. the minster listen to their compliments and requests.
Annegret Kramp explained how happy she was to talk to them directly. It was very important for her to listen to Yezidi women directly, without referring to another source. The women who were the most trusted source and natural, impressed the minster to get the knowledge from involved women.
Leadership training and self-support sessions for 15 women
Emma organized two days leadership and self-support for 16 Yezidi girls. . The girls are from various camps, almost all are students, and a number of them were dropped out of school after they had been captive for years.
The purpose of this project is to empower Yezidi women to speak out their rights, and learn to promote Yezidi women rights. Through the project, the girls are taught to dive into their past, but rather to look forward their future positively. They get empowered to dare to dream big and consider themselves righteous to have a glory and luxury life. Worth saying, through this project many Yezidi survivors have been empowered to promote Yezidi women cases. They are capable to participate local and international conferences, they were awarded globally, and have been known in the local and international levels. In this way, the feminism movement took a positive aspect in the area. The women are not considered pity and victim, they have a prominent role in the community
rolling and a great voice of standing by Yezidi protection.
Empowering women and girls through promoting Kurdish-Yezidi culture in a festival
In order to preserve the Kurdish- Yezidi culture towards the influx of modernity and the attempts to remove their culture, empowering Kurdish Yezidi girls and women building their self-confidence, Emma Organization for human development in association with Lalish branch in Sharya held the first Kurdish-Yezidi cultural festival on 22nd January, 2019 in Sharia.
The festival aimed to showcase the Kurdish-Yezidi tradition to new generation and non-Yezidi guests, along supporting survivors and building confidence in them. The whole festival was included verity parts; traditional music, and type of food, with presenting hand craft products made by Emma Organization center benefiters, which were on display and sold as well.
One Billion Raising campaign
On 14th of February, Emma Organization From Victim to Victor projects staff held a campaign to raise awareness regarding love and women rights . The campaign held the place in Shariya camp, where the women gathered to discuss love and how women and girls are exploited under the name of love. The staff gave awareness to young girls to be more aware and try to find true love in their life.
Having this activity in a camp on Valentine day while everyone exchanging red roses or suffers in an unhealthy relation. For mothers, it cleared their thoughts that their daughters could be exploited easily. Giving them some guidelines to be more aware in an emotional relation delighted them to be more cautious.
Celebrating International Women’s Day
The aim of celebrating women’ day was explained, and the meaning of balancing between women and men at home or out.
The staff went to a camp asked them if they knew there is a day for women in the year. They nodded their heads said no. then, they asked how they manage their household task, they answered “ our husband go to work and we raise the children”.
Celebrating sport for peace and development day
In this special occasion, Emma celebrated two days activities in different forms. In the first day a group of girls gathered in the Shariya camp football space did some sport activities. In the second day, Emma organization beneficiaries participated in an activity for peace. The activity was a marathon organized by IOM, the whole participants included IDP and host community girls.
Our beneficiaries came from Shariya camp, who were interested in sport. The girls asked to make a team from them and often take organize sport activities. besides, they had opportunity to meet some other organization and make friends. The number of the two days activities was 35 young girls.
16 Days of Activism Campaign.
Emma Organization commemorated 16 Days of Activism campaign in Erbil, Shekhan and Sharya.
Emma organization as its mission to build gender quality and women rights in the community commemorated the international campaign in the community centers and on streets with spreading awareness, painting and going out to the streets.
One of the Emma activities was in sharia camp. which Yezidi people settle in. the activity was a kind of taking the people out of their tents and talk about women right publicly. The activity included various parts such as singing, playing music, and talks by outstanding women who fight for women rights.
Everyone who participated the activity held a piece of paper written of on some quotes and women rights.
One of the attendances said,” it is cold, but it feels good to hear the song and also listen to Layla’s attempts to help women”.
Another Emma Organization activity during the campaign was painting some walls on street with women rights gestures. Emma Organization in coordination with Directorate Combating of Violence Against Women and support of a bunch of volunteers at Institute of Fine Arts. The students volunteered to paint some walls which represented domestic violence and 119 hotlines.
The last but not least, in Shekhan the campaign commemorated as well, with spreading awareness in the different forms such as seminars under the theme of “ young teenager rights, domestic violence, HIV and breast cancer”, most of the parts of seminars were preserved to introduce the campaign to the women, some of them were out of the knowledge about the campaign and women rights. Besides, Emma staff gave legal information regarding violating women rights and domestic violence.
Erbil Community Center
Psychological Support Sessions
Emma center in Erbil is located in an abandoned place, where people specially the women were not able to connect with the civilization easily.
In this year, the center was able to provide various psychological activities and vocational trainings such as: learning new language, sewing, handcraft for 509 women.
Almost all the women who joined the center were all unemployed, had little knowledge about women rights, they even had not heard gender balance. The women claimed they were stuck at home. The center gave them a chance to come out at their homes, and change their life styles. For example, they go out alone, and strengthened social relations with neighborhood.
A number of the participants have been able to empower themselves economically, they started working at home, or some take the position of a trainer after they get skilled.
Awareness and seminars
During offering psychological support session Emma organization were spreading awareness and seminars regarding women rights in the terms of law, psychology and social for 1,426. Such as Individual Human right of Iraq lawyer Ability judgment, social media advantages and disadvantages, FGM, introduction of motivational speech, Aggressive, art therapy and women harassment reasons. Through the awareness sessions, the women could get familiar with women rights and could consider the violation more easily. In the beginning the number of the participants were few, but gradually it increased, now they push the center staff to talk to them daily about women rights. The daily speech influenced them to lean in and become more aware about their rights. it was new for some of them that they have all the rights to go shopping alone. Fortunately, in the light of this program a number of the women went back to school.
The Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation Day
On belief of 6th of February which is marked The Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation Day in the world. FGM has lasting physical and mental consequences that need to be discussed so that girls and women no longer have to suffer in silence.
on behalf of this day, Emma Organization for human development organized some activities to spread social and health awareness for 30 women. Along these activities, Emma conducted a training for Health sector employees to women discussed the effects of genital cutting. In the training data and information about the “ do not cut my body” project presented.
Wacharxan Art Exhibition
Emma organization in partnership with Lalish branch in Erbil along with support of The High Commission For Erbil Citadel Revitalization opened an art exhibition under the name of “Transformation” at Erbil Citadel.
Nareen Ahmo, is a young Kurdish artist from Rojava, she fled with her family to Europe after Arab spring. She mastered herself in painting there. Through her art, she conveyed Kurdish Genocide. Nasreen opened exhibition, in Syra, Lebanon and Europe. Now, she came back with a bunch of paintings which demonstrate Kurdish-Yezidi Genocide.
Almost all Ms.Nasreen’s work indicates Kurdish-Yezidi survivor’s pain after their escape from ISIS. She used her brush to pain their unheard screams, and their ambitions to get back to their freedom they possessed before the war. In another hand, the masterpieces, she displayed was Kurdish-Yezidi culture. “I named the exhibition “Transformation”, because it fits to the paintings, our life changes from time to time”, Ms.Nasreen explained. “I wanted to come and have my exhibition here in southern Kurdistan, because it is the only place we kurds from all around the world feel home in”, she added.
Hiwa Institute Training
Emma conducted a training to Hiwa institute for deaf and mute people in Kurdistan. Emma taught the teachers and the students to consider GBV/S cases, and be more aware about the sensitive issues. The most important topics given were; an analyses to GBV/S stress and trauma sensitive, family mediation approach. In this way, and communication skill. In this way they learnt how to communicate with each other without violating women rights, and reconsider all the words they inherited from the old generations which bring the women to the down level. Besides, they learnt how to avoid the difference between gender and sex while giving the lecture.
Lalish Conference for Peace and Coexistence
On 24th April, 2019, Emma Organization organized 4th Lalish Conference for Peace and Coexistence. The conference was a joint project between Seed foundation, WEO, Albarlament, Women Peace Group supported by Germany organization Medica Mondiale.
The conference aimed to highlight the major issues of women and children in the conflict area, specialized to mothers who have children out of rape. Besides, situation of minorities in Iraq, and reason behind their immigration to achieve peace was discussed. In the end, youth activists took their role to speak about their vision to future in a diverse community.
In the first day, the conference was included four panels, and open discussions. In the following day, a workshop was held to prepare a drafting advocacy plan regarding children out of rape case.
Some of the panelists invited from other parts of the world such as Tunisia, Mauritania, and Bosnia to discuss their experiences related to the subject in order to get benefit from them in settling a solution to the problems. Dr.Bayan Rasul,Co-founder and vice director at Emma Organization in her welcoming speech “it is true ISIS almost ended, but their consequences still remains in area”, she stated .Dr.Monica Houser, founder of Medical Mondiale organization emphasized on corporation between local and international organization to build peace and fight against violence” it is my pleasure to see various backgrounds work together for sake of standing against sexual valance in Kurdistan”. She explained.
In one of the panels the subject of “The legal and social position of mothers and children born as the result of the sexual violence “ was discussed. Ivana Chapcakova, UINICEF representative talked about UN action against sexual violence. She said” UN works on three main issues in conflicted area, rebuilding controlled area, supporting war victims and taking care of children out of rape. Ivan said UN looks for a legal solution to support children as a result of rape.
On Thursday, a workshop was held, the participants were women activist, women politicians , academic and female employees. The workshop aimed to find a solution to those children who have born out of wedlock. And an open discussion managed to discuss on feminist foreign policy.
Anniversary of Yezidi Genocide
In anniversary of Yezidi Genocide, Emma center in Erbil held and activity on Erbil citadel. The activity was a kind of portraying people’s grieve towards the genocide and their view to Yezidian people in Iraq through drawing. A yezidian musician also took a part with playing a piece of Yezidian traditional music. Almost all the participants were non-Yezidian, they wanted to show their solidarity to Yezidi right in Iraq.
The activity was a very different anniversary, because we did not want people only to cry and remember the Yezidian plight, but rather Emma encouraged the people to think about the Yezidian future and Shangal reconstruction, children born of rape, women who are still captive, and all the people who still live in a terrible situations in the camps.
Duhok Community Center
In 2019, Emma Duhok center has provided counseling service to 51 GBV cases and non GBV, followed 913 cases. Besides, Emma provided life basic needs to such as; stove, oven, ear cooler, sewing machine, clothes, handmade items, food items, etc.…
In addition, 120 cases are open which are supported by three social workers. In ay case if Emma could not help, we refer them to other agencies.
Psychological Support Sessions
During 2019, 412 beneficiaries delivered 154 adolescent toolkit and women speak out sessions. Emma provided two types of sessions, one of them was related to soft skills, which helped the young girls to build their capacity in the dealing with the situations. And the second type was medical care, for example Identifying physical and emotional changes, and managing menstruation.
Along with adolescent toolkit, Emma provided sessions for women as well. Women sessions were related to empower women knowledge regarding gender and women rights. Also building their capacity in making decision in society;; self-esteem and self-confidence; negotiation skills; social support networks; and the ability to take decisions; participating in public life.
In addition, Emma provided life skill, meditation, recreational, art therapy activities, and celebrating international and local campaigns such as; The 16 Days of Activism, international sport day, one billions campaign, international women’s day.
In this program, Emma also provided social support for 761 men and boys men. These activities were interacting with the displaced men, who have lost their livelihood, as a motivator for their psychological health. The project aimed to help young people develop the emotional control and resilience they need to participate actively in such activities that will lead to overcoming some of their hard daily lives.
During 2019 Emma provided vocational trainings for 228 beneficiaries. In Duhok camps, and non-camps, Zakho, zawita, Dawdia and Besive camps. . the women developed their professional capacities for example, sewing training, darwing, knitting, literacy and yoga were given.
During 2019, 228 beneficiary delivered120 sessions, like sewing, drawing, knitting, illiteracy, yoga,English course and etc. Emma aimed to help women develop their professional capacity, thus improving their chances of securing future employment and empowering themselves economically.
The participants were very happy to be part of these courses they expressed their desire to continue in these activities, because it brought a lot change to their lives.
In 2019 had provided 66 sessions to 994 to women, men, boys, and girls beneficiaries on sexual harassment and reproductive health. Emma recognized that we have to continue educate and aware people about the real meaning of sexual assault and how can prevent it, because it is an issue raised by people and community members, it presents a major health crisis, and highlights the need for societal change in what often referred to as rape. More we talk about sexual violence more we erode away the societal norms that says sexual violence is unacceptable in any form.
And also the aim of providing the reproductive health is to aware women how to take care of their health. Since the women we supported, they did not have enough information about their body changes, and their sexual rights, in this way they were not able to manage their life, vice versa they wholly depend on their husbands.
Community Leaders Committee
In 2019 we had a community leaders committee and the members of the committee were 8 leaders from different backgrounds and religions,
Emma organized 6 meetings and 4 workshops with them; During the workshops and the meetings topics such as; Introduction about GBV, protection of GBV, utilize knowledge and skills gained to prevent and to respond to GBV, Past work and actions by community leaders to prevent or respond to GBV cases, and Identify CL to be trained in Negotiation Mediation training, How to provide emotional support and psychological first aid to GBV survivors.
What are the legal measures, legislation, governmental actors and Non-governmental actors relevant to GBV prevention and response?
There was also a part about raising awareness about GBV impacts on individual, family, community!! Domestic Violence and early and forced marriage, and the mechanisms of providing emotional support and psychological first aid to GBV survivors were discussed, the legal measures, legislation, governmental actors and Non-governmental actors relevant to GBV prevention and response presented.
Shekhan Community Center
Psychological sessions Support
On April 2019, Emma Organization opened its doors to women in Shekhan Esyan csmp. They started their first learning vocational activity. During nine months in 2019, The center could help women to learn new skills for 242 women. Activities such as: sewing, literacy, self & skin care and learning languages. The women were IDPs and host communities. Those women who came to the center were from diverse religions such as; Yezidi, Muslims and Christians, Erhnic Kurds and Arabs. The participants no only came from the neighborhood they came from the far for example coming from surrounding villages and Duhok centers.
Seve, one of the aged learning literacy training came asked to teach her writing and reading because her children lived in aboard, she wanted to write them messages.
Awareness and seminars
Emma Organization has been able to spread awareness regarding GBV/S , women rights and discussing current issue in the community for 2,142 women. the topics in three aspects were discussed; psychology, legal and social. The beneficiaries in this session were all women in Shekhan, Essyan, they were 13 to 50 years old. For example, Psychological health,
Domestic violence, Women right, Violence against women, Early marriage, Anxiety, Psychiatric mood disorders and Self-confidence.
The women had little information about women rights, and their knowledge regarding GVB/S were very little, they thought only hitting was considered Gender-Based Violence. Besides, the women learnt to study their psycho and learnt report more about their situation as they faced any harassment among family and in public.
Celebrating Char Shamba SOR, Yezidian new year
On 16th April 2019, Emma center celebrated char shamba SOR festive, Yazidi new year. the women colored the eggs together. In this activity women came from diverse religions; Yezidian, Muslims and Christians. They had an open discussion talking about their festive and the way they celebrated. It is clear that after ISIS war started 2014 in the area, Yezidian people lost the trust they had with other religions. This kind of activities, strengthens the bond between them and improves cultural understanding. In Shekhan , it is popular people from diverse backgrounds have social relations, they tolerate one another ,Accommodate individual differences.
Police Station and Directorate Compete Violence Against Women
Emma provided a training for Police Station and Directorate Compete Violence Against Women regarding Gender-based Violence. topics of GVB/S awareness, family mediation, early detection, conflict prevention, psychological first aid and referral path. The staff from these two directorates had little information about the essence of their work for example they said we did know that talking to a woman loudly is a kind of Gender based violence or bring a women down is violence. they also claimed now it is very clear how to deal with cases, to whom should send them.
Meeting with women organizations
Emma Organization as one of the principles stands highly with kurds in Rojava, and condemns the Turkey invasion into the area, organized a meeting with women organization to support the people in Rozhava. The outcomes of this activity is the importance to establish (women Kurdistan lobby) to be the largest umbrella network for feminism movement. It focused on these aspects: Violence against women Decision making and leadership, Women economic independence, Displaced and refugee women, International action. The whole number of the participants were 20 women activists.
Turkish army stepped into Rojava, they violated human rights with committing slaughter. The situation there goes very terribly, as people are dying from lack of life basic needs and affected by white phosphor. The people started fleeing barely to Kurdistan Region, they have been settled in the camps near to Duhok. Emma Organization in order to take a pat into revolution will support Rojava with the following actions.
Capacity building of young feminist in Kurdistan
Emma organization attempts to develop women movements in Kurdistan. Since women rights activists are rare, people who work for enhancing feminism movement lacks of young women. Forming this network for 17 will help the young women to work in collaboration, and strengthens the feminism principles among young generation. In this activity, the participants who came from various parts of Kurdistan, identified their vision about feminism goals. In the end, the participants created and strengthened their will and belief in the feminist movement.
Meeting with Gender Unit in Ministry of Education
On November 26 in ministry of education and in the presence of the gender unit’s official and employee, and from the side of Emma, the organization’s director and project manager attended. The aim of the meeting is to revise our work with them in the last year (support the gender unit drafted the strategy for filling the gap of gender inequality in the ministry). In this meeting we discussed the last update of their work and developing planning for the coming years. It became clear to us that there is a kind of lack in growth of the process. After the discussion, in order to improve the functioning of the gender unit, many empowerment, training and awareness activities are required. In the end, the gender unit in education ministry was announced, supporting the gender unit drafted the strategy for filling the gap of gender inequality in the ministry, discussing the last update of their work and developing planning for 2020.
Demonstration against federation of Islamic Religious Scholars in Kurdistan
Women organizations where Emma had a great role in organizing the demonstration against federation of Islamic Religious Scholars in Kurdistan.
federation of Islamic Religious Scholars in Kurdistan announced a new fatwa which indicated women are not allowed to get in taxi alone on 4th December 2019.
The Total number of beneficiaries Emma supported are the following:
Sharya Center Erbil Center Shekhan Center Duhok Center Sida Project
343 2,020 2,404 2,606 58
Capacity Building for Governmental staff
Totally 8 trainings were conducted for (Police 70, Health staff and Teacher 145)
Number of trainings: (15) such as: literacy, handcraft, leadership, sewing, painting, music, self and skin care.
Legal assistance 113
Peer support group 14
Organizing traditional festival
Participation International day of sport for development
Celebrating International women day
Advocacy meeting with stakeholders
Empowering women and girls through promoting Kurdish-Yezidi culture in a festival
One Billion Raising campaign
16 Days of Activism Campaign