USA: The role of Iraqi NGOs in the Iraqi democratic process

Iraqi Al-Amal Association
Hanaa Edwar, Secretary General, Iraqi Al-Amal Association is giving the Rama Mehta Lecture on 1 May 2006 at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Hanaa Edwar is an advocate for women’s rights and for peace, justice, and democracy in Iraq. She is the secretary general of the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, a nongovernmental organization founded in 1992 and dedicated to improving the socioeconomic condition of Iraqis.
She has been at the forefront of various campaigns for women’s equality and the enhancement of women’s roles in decision-making positions and in the constitutional process in Iraq.

Edwar, who earned a law degree from Baghdad University in 1967, has cofounded a number of organizations, including the Arab Women’s Court, formed in Beirut in 1996 with the aim of combating violence against women; the Arab NGO Network for Development, which supports, enables, and empowers Arab civil societies in their quest for democracy, human rights, and sustainable development; the Iraqi Women’s Network, which represents more than 100 women’s organizations throughout the country; and Beit Khanzad, an Erbil-based shelter for women. In October 2005, Edwar addressed the UN Security Council in a closed session on Resolution 1325 on the situation of Iraqi women and their role in building peace and democracy in Iraq.

The Rama S. Mehta lectureship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study was established by Professor John Kenneth Galbraith and Catherine Atwater Galbraith, in memory of Rama S. Mehta, who died in 1978. The purpose of the lectureship is to invite to Radcliffe and Harvard a distinguished woman in public affairs, sciences, or the arts who has a deep understanding of the problems of women in developing countries. Rama S. Mehta was a fellow at the Bunting Institute in 1964–1965 and 1966–1967.

This event is cosponsored by the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions, and creative arts. Within this broad purpose, the Institute sustains a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender, and society.