Center for Gender and Development Studies to Develop New Educational Programs
The Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at 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, the Center’s director, Dr. Choman Hardi, announced on October 8, 2018. The innovative, wide-ranging activities that the CGDS team will undertake are designed to make important contributions to understanding and addressing issues of gender disparity in Iraq and the MENA region.
The project’s main objectives include educational development in the field of gender studies in three MENA countries (Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon) and community capacity building in gender awareness and advocacy. It comprises a range of activities such as translating key texts, training academics, founding a gender studies network, reviewing primary school textbooks, and producing six gender-related short films in English, Arabic, and Kurdish. The CGDS team will work closely with non-governmental organizations, other universities and gender centers, and the private sector to assess sensitivity training needs, propose policy to the government, supervise media monitoring, and offer summer school scholarship opportunities to disadvantaged students.
“With this vital support from the European Union, our main goal is to provide Kurdish and Arabic gender-related resources to students, faculty, researchers, gender programs, and the larger public through an online platform, which will include short films, songs, debates, and translations of state of the art undergraduate texts in the fields of ‘gender and media,’ ‘gender and law,’ ‘gender and social work,’ and ‘gender and pedagogy’,” explained Professor Hardi. “This is a pioneering project that we hope will lead to increased sensitivity and expertise, as well as the accelerated development of gender studies in our fellow universities in Iraq and the rest of MENA.”
CGDS was founded in 2015 and in November 2017 introduced an interdisciplinary gender studies minor at AUIS, the first of its kind in Iraq.
AUIS is the first non-government, not-for-profit, American-style institution of higher education in Iraq. Celebrating its tenth anniversary last year, it is also the first non-governmental university in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to be accredited by both the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The University welcomes students, 35% of whom are women, from diverse communities throughout Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
For media requests, contact Delawit Mesfin, AUIS Director of Communications.