CGDS visiting Cihan University Sulimaniya

On July 30, 2019, the Center for Gender and Development Studies visited Cihan University Sulimaniya, which hosted a forum for universities and NGOs to discuss implementing the government decree (August 2019), to establish gender centers in all universities. The opening speakers introduced issues of implementation such as the gender studies course instructors’ expertise in and commitment to the field. In coming up with a plan to manage this development, the speakers suggested that the focus should be on interdisciplinary, sustainability, and continuity. In spite of pressure to do otherwise, the Minister of Higher Education supports the gender centers and is working on the practicalities of implementation, such as funding. A good first step, the speakers suggested, would be to develop a unified syllabus that introduces gender studies. A discussion followed in which there was opposition to implementing the centers, stating that it is now too early; the program is not sufficiently comprehensive; there is no funding; there is insufficient expertise, and so on.