Operation 1325



Since 2003, Iraq’s political situation has become increasingly unstable and the situation is particularly vulnerable to women. Although the Iranian law protects some women’s rights, there is still much work to be done for women to become equal to men. Women are, for example, more exposed to poverty and to insecure livelihoods. The opportunities for women to influence society are also very limited.

Over the years, we have carried out a number of projects in Iraq. All with the aim of increasing knowledge about women, peace and security and strengthening women’s position in society and decision-making.


In 2022, we implemented a project that brought together women from Yemen, Iraq and Sudan. The countries share a similar conflict status where women are excluded from the political process and, therefore, we saw an opportunity for interaction and impact.

The activities aimed to achieve visibility and give status to the women. Through capacity-building activities on relevant working methods for participating in peace processes and conflict management, women gain legitimacy and thus become visible as peace actors, which in turn leads to pressure for change towards decision-makers.

The activities were well designed to enable the creation of a forum, an egalitarian network, where women’s own needs and wishes for increased knowledge determine the content and where knowledge can be shared and deepened in a trusting manner.

PROJEcTs In iraq


The project was implemented in the three countries of Yemen, Iraq and Sudan, and focused on empowering women to participate in peace and conflict resolution processes. The aim was also to make women more visible as peace actors in society. Through the project, the participating women have gained increased knowledge of their rights and opportunities, which has strengthened them as change agents and inspired them to continue their involvement in similar issues.   

Project: Women Peace Builder Programme  

Country: Yemen, Iraq and Sudan  

Partner organisation: Mawada Association for Society Development, All Girl’s Foundation for Development (AGF), Women Empowerment Organization (WEO), Nuba Women for Education and Development Association (NuWEDA)  

Donor: Folke Bernadotte Academy  

Project period: February – December 2022  

Purpose: Strengthen women’s knowledge to participate in peace and conflict resolution processes at local and national level, make women visible as known actors in the same.   

Target group: 16 women 

How: The project started with two conferences and a capacity building programme that the participants themselves helped to design according to their needs and wishes. The focus was mainly on conflict management, peace negotiation and UNSC Resolution 1325. Participants then held meetings, both formal and informal, where they shared their newly acquired knowledge at local and national level. They also invited local organisations to take part in the capacity-building training, an activity that reached over 300 people. Participants held dialogue meetings with local decision-makers and former parliamentarians to try to achieve change at a higher level.  

The project ended with a joint conference in Cairo, Egypt. The conference included several capacity building sessions on conflict management, peace agreement monitoring, dialogue with religious leaders, and role-playing in negotiation and mediation techniques. The conference also included a side event on how UNSCR 1325 interacts with climate change and Egypt’s preparations for COP27, which allowed Egyptian climate experts and our project participants to discuss and exchange ideas on climate change and its impact on women, peace and security.  

The project made efforts to raise awareness in Sweden, through several seminars and a social media campaign that reached over 20,000 people.   

Results: Women in Yemen, Sudan and Iraq have gained increased knowledge and commitment to participate in peace and conflict resolution processes at local and national level. The intervention contributed to the field by creating a forum for participating women to exchange experiences and capacity building. This forum has increased women’s ability to participate in peace processes, promoted peaceful and inclusive societies and strengthened women’s security. The project contributed to goals 5 and 16 of the 2030 Agenda.  

  • 16 women from Yemen, Iraq and Sudan have increased their knowledge and shared their own knowledge and experiences with each other.    
  • A network where women keep in touch to continue exchanging knowledge and experiences.    
  • More than 330 women learnt about conflict management, peace negotiations and UNSC Resolution 1325.  
  • Over 2200 people reached at seminars in Sweden.   
  • Over 24,000 reached via the Swedish social media campaign. 
  • Joint conference in Cairo 

2016-2017: MEDIATION LAB

The Mediation Lab was organised in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Colombia with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences on women’s peacebuilding from different contexts. The project enabled women peace workers from several countries to meet and work together to strengthen women’s capacity to learn from each other and work for peace.   

Project: Mediation Lab  

Country: Colombia, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Sweden, Turkey, Yemen  

Partner organisation: Iniciativa de Mujeres Colombianas por la Paz, KÖM Turkey, Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD)  

Donor organisation: MUCF, Folke Bernadotte Academy

Project period: 2016 – 2017  

Purpose: A triangular exchange of experiences to highlight innovative, successful mediation processes that have led to increased security and women’s participation. To identify what made these mediation processes successful and how it can be replicated in other areas and conflicts.   

Target group: Women peace actors, civil society organisations, academics and local policy makers from Colombia and the MENA region 

How: The project started with an inventory of mediation experiences and knowledge, through interviews and digital research. The project created a reference group of experts and decision-makers in peacemaking. As part of the project, a central mediation conference was organised for the empowerment of women as peacebrokers. The aim of this conference was to exchange experiences, knowledge and create shared learning. In each participating country, smaller conferences were held where partner organisations shared new insights and disseminated mediation skills in their context. Lessons learnt and tools from the project were disseminated digitally, including through the creation and publication of a report and a handbook on the topic. An advocacy letter was sent to, among others, the UN Security Council and the UN Member States Support Unit.   

Results: Women’s and peace organisations have shared experiences and increased their knowledge of mediation in other contexts to draw lessons for their own peace work. Through the conferences, the publication of a report and a handbook on women, peace and security, knowledge has reached beyond the primary target group. Through contact with decision-makers, participants were able to influence at a higher level.   


Mediation Lab – Women Pacemakers as mediators (eng)

Mediation Lab – Women Pacemakers as mediators (arabic)

Mediation Lab – Women Pacemakers as mediators (español

Mediation Lab –  Women Pacemakers as mediators (türkçe)

Mediation and Influence


Projekt: Säkerhetssektorreform (SSR) i Irakiska Kurdistan och Irak 

Project: Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq  

Country: Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq  

Project period: 2015

Purpose: To enable interaction between women’s organisations and responders active in the field of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and advocacy.   

How: Initial activities were to map the SSR structures and the level of collaboration, and prepare participants for and conduct a workshop in Iraq. Due to the security situation, the project objectives were changed to further development and adaptation of the booklet “Security on the Ground” to Iraqi conditions with translation into Arabic. The booklet provides concrete and useful advice to those working in SSR, how to increase women’s participation in conflict and post-conflict areas, as well as how to strengthen women’s security.  

Target audience: Response personnel and women’s organisations  

Results: The booklet was met with a positive response from both field staff and women’s organisations and has been used as training material for Swedish UN police and the UN mission in South Sudan. 


Project: Monitoring in Iraq and Kurdistan + Regional Initiative

Country: Iraq and Kurdistan

Donor: Folke Bernadotte Academy and Swedish Institute

Project period: 2014

Purpose: Facilitate networking and regional exchange of experiences in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with focus on advocacy through civil society participation in development processes for national action plans for women, peace and security, and in reviewing states’ implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325. Also to contribute to the production of a ‘Civil Society Monitoring Report on UNSCR 1325 for Iraq as part of the global Women Count report.

Target group: Women’s civil society organisations

How: Workshop on monitoring and advocacy. Participating organisations also conducted data collection and analysis for the report and project planning for advocacy.

Results: Women’s organisations have strengthened their work for women, peace and security. The dialogue has contributed to skills development and increased advocacy. You make the difference: Women participation and security is a brochure produced in collaboration between Operation 1325 and the Iraqi women’s movement, based on their experiences. It provides clear recommendations and has been disseminated in Sweden and the MENA region.


You make the difference: Women participation and security

1325 toolkit – arabic



The Women and Media in MENA project was implemented in Sweden, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. The aim was to create platforms for women and peace groups to raise awareness of the women, peace and security agenda. The project created new meeting places for women and media actors. Participants learnt how media can be used as a tool for knowledge and advocacy.   

Project: Women and Media in the MENA region    

Country: Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Sweden   

Partner organisation: Women Empowerment Organization (WEO), Media Association for Peace (MAP), TAM – Women, Media and Development   

Donor: Folke Bernadotte Academy, Swedish Institute.    

Project period: October 2014 – January 2016   

Purpose: To explore and contribute to creative media forums for women and peace groups that serve as platforms to draw attention to the women, peace and security agenda in the MENA region.    

Target group: Women’s organisations fighting for peace, women’s rights and democracy.   

How: The participating organisations identified existing meeting points and relationships between women’s groups and the media sector in the project countries. The results were summarised in a report that was presented during a joint meeting. During the week of the meeting, workshops and discussions were also held on the challenges, differences and similarities between the countries regarding women’s rights and media. Together, they drafted a brochure and a toolkit with collected success stories and tools for improved cooperation between media and civil society organisations.   

Following needs and evaluations in the project countries, the common media toolkit was refined and formed the basis for a series of interactive workshops and discussion groups with participants. The toolkit was then published, followed by a panel discussion and seminar attended by, among others, Swedish and international media as well as Swedish parliamentarians and government members. A panel discussion on UNSC Resolution 1325 and women and the media was also held with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which then invited to a discussion on the same issues. Communicative PR events and social media campaigns were also organised to disseminate the toolkit to the public in the participating countries.     

Results: Meeting points and relationships between women’s groups and the media have been identified in the different countries. Participants have strengthened their capacity to portray women, peace and security in the media. They have also strengthened their advocacy skills to increase the dissemination of information on women’s rights and make it more relevant to decision-makers. In a longer perspective, the participants can contribute to a more frequent and fair reporting and portrayal of women and women’s rights in the media.    

  • Media tools on women’s rights in relation to the media were created and published in English and Arabic.   
  • The project reached several government and parliamentary members as well as Swedish and international media.   


Project: Women, Peace and Security – Information and Education Programme in Iraqi Kurdistan  

Country: Iraqi Kurdistan  

Partner organisation: Civil Development Organisation and Amez Organisation for developing potential

Donor: Folke Bernadotte Academy  

Project period: 2011

Purpose: To increase and deepen knowledge of UNSCR 1325 and to help strengthen the capacity of individual organisations, decision-makers and authorities to implement the resolution in Iraqi Kurdistan.  

Target group: Civil society, opinion leaders, decision-makers and authorities in the country.  

How: Mapping and networking, production of information and training material and a seminar in Iraqi Kurdistan.   

Results: Participating organisations have increased their knowledge of how to work concretely with UNSCR 1325. The project reached several actors at different levels of Iraqi Kurdish society and reached out with information and took note of the needs that exist.   



Project: Women in the Arab Spring/Regional Work in North Africa and the Middle East

Country: Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Libya, Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine and Tunisia

Project duration: 2012

Purpose: To broaden regional contacts to exchange experiences and strategies to increase women’s political influence in the region.

Target group: 20 organisations working to implement UNSC Resolution 1325 in their respective countries.

How: A conference was organised together with Norwegian Church Aid, where organisations with experts on UNSC Resolution 1325 in each country compiled experiences and challenges, which were then used as a basis for the conference. During the conference, the organisations were actively involved in both designing and implementing the exchange of experiences, with a focus on sharing creative tools.

Operation 1325 & IRAq

Here’s a video we’ve produced to give those of you who don’t know about Operation 1325 a little insight into who we are and what we do. We are very happy that our heroine Dr. Louise Olsson, Senior Researcher in Women, Peace and Security at the Institute for Peace Research in Oslo, is joining us with her expertise and solid knowledge!

This video has been produced with financial support from Sida through ForumCiv. Neither Sida nor ForumCiv has been involved in the production of this video and is not responsible for the content of the episodes or the opinions expressed.



Civil Development Organization

AMEZ Organisation for developing potential


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Operation 1325 operates in partnership with peace and women's organisations from across the globe to make United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, a reality.