About CGDS

What is the Center for Gender and Development Studies?

The Gender Center seeks to elevate the women of Iraq and its Kurdistan region from second-class citizens to equal partners with men, both socially and professionally. The Center’s mission is vital to developing the educated, engaged human capital needed for a secure, democratic, and prosperous Iraq.

Founded in 2015 by Dr. Choman Hardi at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, CGDS has worked tirelessly to educate our community on the importance of equality and fairness in the treatment of women of all ages and in all walks of life.The Center established the first gender studies minor in Iraq and has served as an inspiration for the formation and operation of other gender studies groups throughout the region. 

The Gender Center's effectiveness and careful stewardship of resources have attracted more than $2.5 million in grants over the last four years, including major grants from the European Union, United Kingdom, and United Nations.

Why is the Gender Center Needed?

Gender inequality in Iraq and its Kurdistan region is an intractable and pervasive problem, one requiring sustained and context-specific responses that take root and flower in the community. The Gender Center supports women’s education and participation in the workforce, their right to an equal social standing, freedom from the threat of violence, and full citizenship rights.