Events and Activities | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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Events and Activities



CGDS marks the start of 16 Days of Activism with soft launch of EU grant


CGDS held an event on November 27, 2018 marking the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence with a a soft launch of its recently awarded €900,000 European Union grant.



EU Ambassador to Iraq visits CGDS


The European Union’s Ambassador to Iraq Ramon Blecua visited the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at AUIS on October 25, 2018. In the meeting, the Ambassador discussed CGDS’s recently awarded  €900,000 EU grant and affirmed his full support for the project. 



European Union Awards €900,000 Grant to AUIS


The Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) has been awarded a €900,000 grant by the European Union to fund a two-year project aimed at developing gender studies and policy, building community capacity, and increasing visibility.



Dr. Lynn Rose delivers presentation at international conference in Sri Lanka


AUIS Professor Dr. Lynn Rose represented the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at the International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Colombo, Sri Lanka on September 27-28, 2018. Read more...


AUIS Professor Choman Hardi Publishes in Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security

The Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) is pleased to announce the most recent publication of Dr. Choman Hardi, “Gender and Genocide, Two Case Studies”, in Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security. The volume is edited by Caron E. Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd and Laura Sjoberg, and published by Routledge in August 2018. Read more.

CGDS hosts three-day Women's Voices conference in Sulaimani

Internews in cooperation with the Center for Gender and Development Studies and Women for Progress Center, organized a conference from April 24-26, 2018 of selected women journalists and women human rights defenders (WHRDs) across Iraq to create a coalition. Read more.

Dr. Lynn Rose to present at 2018 International Education Conference

Dr. Lynn Rose, Professor in the Social Sciences department at AUIS, will represent the Center for Gender and Development Studies at the 2018 International Education Conference at ADA University, Baku, Azerbaijan, June 6-8. Read more.

Dr. Lynn Rose to present at 2018 AMICAL Conference

Dr. Lynn Rose, Professor of Social Sciences at AUIS, will attend and present at the 2018 AMICAL Conference from May 4-7 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. AMICAL is the American International Liberal Arts Institution, a consortium that works on setting common goals for librarians in technology, and learning. Read more.

Radio New Zealand interview with AUIS Faculty Dr. Choman Hardi

Dr. Choman Hardi, Assistant Professor in the Department of English, had an interview with Radio New Zealand which was broadcast on Anfal Commemoration Day, April 14th. In the interview she talks about AUIS, about teaching gender studies, writing poetry, researching about genocide survivors, and a bit of Kurdish/ Iraqi politics.

Listen to the interview here.

AUIS Professor Lynn Rose Publishes Journal Article

The Center for Gender and Development Studies is pleased to announce the most recent publication of Dr. Lynn Rose: “The Courage of Subordination: Women and Intellectual Disability in the Ancient Greek World,” in The Routledge History of Disability, ed. Roy Hanes, Ivan Brown, and Nancy E. Hansen (London and New York: Routledge, 2018), pages 35-47.

Mr. Feminist campaign
November 30, 2017

The young men in our society associate the words "feminist" and "feminism" with women fighting for their rights. They don't have a male feminist role model to look up to and to believe the fact that it is normal for a man to fight for gender equality. The mere thought of a "feminist man" seems so surreal to many that they blanch at the idea itself. Read more.

AUIS Launches Interdisciplinary Minor in Gender Studies During 16 Days of Activism
November 29, 2017

Opening remarks by Dr. Choman Hardi, Founding Director of CGDS. Read the full transcript here.

The Center for Gender & Development Studies partners with London School of Economics
November 26, 2017

The Center for Gender & Development Studies (CGDS) has partnered with the London School of Economics (LSE) for a new project on gender based violence. Dr. Choman Hardi is one of Co-Investigators of the project Gender Violence Across War and Peace. Dr. Hardi is conducting research for this collaboration, which aims to determine how funders’ and donors’ priorities in the Kurdistan region influence the work of local NGOs on the ground. Read more.

Social Engagement at Times of Conflict

October 10, 2017 

The Action Group (TAG) hosted a session to discuss the importance of volunteering at times of political and social conflict. The event was supervised by the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS). Read more here.

AUIS Center for Gender and Development Studies partners with Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Ball State University

Founded in November 2015, the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) is a flourishing institution inside AUIS, which challenges gender inequality through teaching, research, and community capacity building. In line with its view that education can play a major role in combating gender discrimination and radicalism, CGDS has developed gender-related courses, organized seminars and workshops, and facilitated trainings for AUIS students and the larger community. Read more.

CGDS Hosts Training Through the Alternatives to Violence Project

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:

Privilege, Power, and Hierarchy: A Diversity Training Workshop

October 22, & 29, 2016

On October 22 and October 29, 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 Dr. Choman Hardi and Dr. Lynn Rose. 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:

A Workshop on Sexual Harrassment

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:

Poetry Reading of Kajal Ahmad's "Handful of Salt"

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 AhmedThe 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

Women Leaders: Challenges, Strategies and Rewards

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. 

The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #PledgeforParity

Find out more about the event here

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. 

Click here to find out more about the conference, speakers, watch or read about the panel discussions, and view or download photos

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.

Petro States and Women's Rights

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.

A Seminar on Inequality by The Action Group
December 2, 2015

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:

Book Launch of Choman Hardi's New Poetry Collection: Considering the Women
November 25, 2015

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:

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:

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.