June 18 - 20, 2017
On June 18, 19, and 20, the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) hosted an introductory training workshop from the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). Invited by Dr. Choman Hardi, founder and director of the CGDS, Rezhyar Fakir and his colleagues from the Christian Peacemaker Teams, facilitated the AVP training. Over 20 participants came from Erbil, Duhok, and beyond, and included AUIS students and residents of Sulaimani. The training was held on the AUIS campus. Read more about this event: http://www.auis.edu.krd/news/cgds-hosts-training-through-alternatives-vi...
October 22, & 29, 2016
On , the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at AUIS hosted a two-part diversity training workshop about privilege, power, and hierarchy. The workshop was facilitated by and . The training equipped AUIS students to actively engage with and challenge social injustice by starting discussions about these issues in local high schools. Read more about this event: http://auis.edu.krd/news/privilege-power-and-hierarchy-diversity-trainin...
October 18, 2016
Dr. Choman Hardi, the director of the Center for Gender and Development Studies at AUIS, facilitated a workshop on sexual harassment. The workshop was held in the female dormitory and was open to male and female students. Understanding sexual harassment and its consequences was the main focus of the workshop as well as challenging the norms and myths that cause it and highlighting bystander responsibility. Read more about this event: http://auis.edu.krd/news/sexual-harassment-workshop
Monday, April 25, 2016
On April 25, 2016 AUIS hosted a poetry-reading event that marked the release of the book Handful of Salt by Kurdish poet Kajal Ahmed. The event organized by CGDS brought together AUIS and the University of Sulaimani to celebrate women’s achievements. There was also a beautiful Kurdish choir performance by students from the University of Sulaimani prior to the reading that included one of Kajal Ahmed’s poems adapted into a song. The book was sold at AUIS after the event, with all the proceeds going to the Yazda organization, an NGO aimed at supporting the Yezidi minority. Read more.
Monday, March 7, 2016
To commemorate International Women’s Day the Center for Gender and Development Studies is hosting a discussion with three female Kurdish leaders. They will talk about the challenges they have met on their way to the top, the strategies that they have developed to cope in a male dominated environment and the rewards of their journey so far.
Ezidis Beyond ISIS: Gender, Genocide and Return
February 11, 2016
The AUIS Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) and the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) hosted a conference to discuss the future of the Ezidi community in Iraq. The conference brought together Ezidi survivors of ISIS atrocities, agencies working to document these atrocities, practitioners providing services to survivors, academics working in the field, and relevant international experts to create an in depth understanding of - and generate action on - one of 21st century’s worst crimes against humanity. The Center was also formally inaugurated at the conference during the opening speech by Dr. Choman Hardi.
Making our Activism Count for More: A Round Table Discussion
December 15, 2015
The Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) hosted a roundtable discussion on the state of women's rights in Kurdistan at AUIS. The discussion, “Making our Activism Count for More”, was attended by prominent members of the civil society in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) along with representatives from the Consulate General of the United States in Erbil. The US delegation was headed by the Consul General in Erbil, Matthias Mitman, who was accompanied by Public Affairs Officer Anthony Deaton, Political Officer Matt Bushell, and Cultural Affairs Assistant Dler Hamad.
The representatives of the civil society included AUIS board member Narmin Othman, journalist Koral Noori, academic and activist Bekhal Abubakir Hussein, women’s rights activist Bahar Munzir, Falah Shakarm from WADI, Sardasht Abdulrahman from UN Women National Program, and Chilura Hardi, founder of the Khatuzeen Center for Women in Erbil. Participants from AUIS included Dr. Choman Hardi, Christine van den Toorn, Ahmed Ali and Shiereen Saib. The panel was moderated by Dr. Choman Hardi, director of CGDS.
The roundtable discussion focussed on the many socio-economic problems facing women in the Iraqi Kurdistan. Participants specifically highlighted the lack of implementation of laws protecting women from serious crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual harassment and honour killing. The prevalent patriarchal traditions and rising extremism, including atrocities committed against women by Daesh, were cited as some of the most serious problems compounding the plight of women in the society. The participants agreed that a number of steps including stronger implementation of laws, education with focus on gender equality and economic empowerment of women are needed to improve the condition of women’s rights in Kurdistan. A full report of the discussion and recommendations will be published by CGDS.
December 10, 2015
Joint panel discussion with Dr Choman Hardi and Dr Bilal Wahab about women's rights in the region. Dr. Bilal spoke about the correlation between women's rights and oil wealth. Dr. Choman addressed the resilience of patriarchy and the state‘s role in utilizing economy, technology and religion to construct specific kinds of masculinity and femininity tailored to specific political ends.
The Action Group (TAG) at The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted their second seminar of the year as part of the “Orange the World” campaign to fight violence against women and girls on December 2, 2015. AUIS students who are members of the group gave presentations about their findings on various topics including independent media in Kurdistan, barriers for women activists, and inclusion (or lack of) women in decision making positions within the region. Students also read out from their own poems on gender violence. There were also musical performances from Harem Jaafer, Botan Mohammad and others. Read more about the event: http://auis.edu.krd/news/seminar-inequality-action-group
Distinguished poet and activist, and Chair of the English department at The American University of Iraqi, Sulaimani (AUIS), Dr. Choman Hardi, published her second collection of poems, Considering the Women, earlier this month. Her new book explores the ambiguous relationship between immigrants and their homeland, and the plight of women in a patriarchal society and as survivors of political violence. You can read more about the event and watch a short video here: http://www.auis.edu.krd/news/choman-hardis-book-launch-begins-orange-world-campaign-auis
Orange the World: Say No to Violence Against Women!
November 25 - December 10, 2015
AUIS students are supporting the United Nations 16 days of activism and Orange the World campaign to raise their voices against, and create awareness of, violence against women through various initiatives, events and activities on campus. There will be students rallies, documentary screenings, guest lectures, student videos and seminars. Read more about these events on campus: http://www.auis.edu.krd/events-calendar/auis-goes-orange-say-no-violence-against-women
Women's Movement in Kurdistan: Choman Hardi
March 8, 2015
In celebration of the International Women's Day 2015, AUIS launched a series of lectures dedicated to Equality for Women.
The first talk of the series was given by Dr. Choman Hardi, associate professor of English literature at AUIS. Hardi spoke about the achievements of the women's movement in Kurdistan, based on in-depth interviews with women in Kurdistan as well as her own field research on Anfal during the years 2005-10. Dr. Hardi heads the Center for Gender and Development Studies at AUIS.
Listen to the talk on the AUIS podcast channel.