EU Project: Dr. Choman Hardi’s Interview with “Didari Mn” on Women’s Day

Funded by the EU, CGDS is producing podcasts, in Kurdish, Arabic and English to promote understanding of gender issues in the region. The following is one of the podcasts produced for the project.

Dr. Choman Hardi, Director of CGDS, was hosted on the “Didari Mn” Program by “KNN TV”, on the 8th of March, 2019, to discuss the significance of Women’s Day, why it’s recognition has an impact, and the role of women in the community. 

Dr. Hardi discusses that on this day and 16 Days of Activism, activists, and women working in NGOs have the opportunity to portray to society the work they have done for the community. The commemoration of the 8th of March illustrates how women have had to fight for their rights. 

The interviewer asks Dr. Hardi, “ What state are women in or how are their circumstances currently?” She responds by saying that, “There has been progress, however, it is not the progress we want because there is still a lot of inequality that occurs. I was previously at Kurdsat TV with various skilled women, and they were playing instruments on live TV which probably would not have been allowed 20 years ago. Hence, there is a visible progression.” 

The concept of women in the media is discussed on the programme. It is pointed out how women’s news is usually reduced to “hot news” and is not given its weight in the media outlets. Dr. Hardi further elaborates on how women are at times kept within the confines of a number of stereotypes. For instance, “they are either portrayed as victims of the anfal, a victim in general, or someone who wears black to mourn their losses.” Media gives men the chance to have a platform to speak their minds and give their opinions. Whereas, the same can not be said for women. 

Another topic of the programme is women in politics. The quota system has enabled women to part-take in politics. However, there are still various obstacles that arise as women are entering politics. Firstly, it has allegedly been said that some women that are chosen to enter the parliament are individuals who will not discuss women’s rights. Secondly, choices are at times made without the consideration of the female MPs. Dr. Hardi adds that society has institutionalized and  aided males in attaining leadership roles. 

Dr. Choman concludes her interview by discussing how a reduction in gender based violence can be achieved and how certain economic and other crises affect women. She mentions the following as examples for the implementation of the decrement of GBV: a reform in the education system and how the new generations are raised, new interpretations of religion that are parallel with our age, new laws that enforce women’s rights, and the recognition of social responsibility the media and people have whom are given platform to use their voices.