The Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) started of a two-year project titled "Enhancing Education, Developing Community, and Promoting Visibility to Effect Gender Equity in Iraq and the MENA Region" which is aimed at developing gender studies and policy, building community capacity, and increasing visibility. The innovative, wide-ranging activities that the CGDS team undertakes are designed to make important contributions to understanding and addressing issues of gender disparity in Iraq and the MENA region.
The project’s main objectives include educational development in the field of gender studies in three MENA countries (Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon) and community capacity building in gender awareness and advocacy. It comprises a range of activities such as translating key texts, training academics, founding a gender studies network, reviewing primary school textbooks, and producing six gender-related short films in English, Arabic, and Kurdish. The CGDS team works closely with non-governmental organizations, other universities and gender centers, and the private sector to assess sensitivity training needs, propose a policy to the government, supervise media monitoring, and offer summer school scholarship opportunities to disadvantaged students.