MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER
I was born and raised in Kobani, Syria. While growing up, it was inevitable not to experience and witness the suffering and oppression of women in society.
In 1997 I moved to Ukraine where I volunteered at a local non profit rehabilitation organization. There, I had the first hand exposure to civil society and process of rehabilitation. I witnessed victims recover from drug, psychological and social abuse. There were people out there who needed help, and without such organized selfless committed group of people, lives of those victims of abuse and sufferers would not have changed. I saw hope, acceptance, tolerance, understanding, and I saw change. These victims were helped to reintegrate to community. This was impactful. It was touching. It was beautiful. This experience had a great impact on me and I was very much inspired.
In 2000, I moved to live in Kurdistan and I immediately started to volunteer at the Kurdistan Women Union. I was very much inspired by the dedication of the union and their advocacy for women’s right particularly their lobbying and advocacy to protect women from domestic physical abuse on pretext of discipline as articled in the Iraqi law.
After the liberation of Iraq in 2003, I became the head of Kurdistan Women Union branch in Mosul. The situation of women caught much of my attention but it was also the state of civil society in Mosul which was much less advanced than in Kurdistan that concerned me a lot.
Seeing the need, several friends and I shared a common interest and a vision and we decided to found an organization with the goal of serving women and society. Our vision was that a society could change and advance more quickly if women were protected, empowered and educated. Because in our believe a woman is a mother, a sister, a daughter, and a school in herself.
We made a commitment to work on all approaches to help, empower and protect women. The diversity approach of our projects was to mainstream gender equality and to prove that women are part of every aspect of life.
–Ms. Jihan Mustafa Ibrahim
Founder and Executive Director
ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY AT EVERY STAGE
Accountability To Beneficiaries
Sphere, ICRC, IASC Humanitarian Standards
Local Ownership and Stakeholder Engagement
Needs and Evidence Based Approaches
Cross Cutting and Gender Dynamics
International Policies and Procedure Standards
Founded in 2003, Women Rehabilitation Organization (WRO) is a non-profit, non-government and independent organization dedicated to working towards the protection and advancement of women’s and child rights and the engagement of men through service provision for all members of societies across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). WRO supports the needs of Syrian refugee, Iraqi IDP, and Kurdish women, men, and children in prevention and response to sexual/gender based violence (SGBV) and increasing their access to quality economic, protection, food, health, education, shelter and legal services. WRO has become a local and regional expert in protection, SGBV prevention and response, economic empowerment, and integrated programming. WRO has over a thirteen year history of collaborative work at the national, regional and international level working with organizations such as UNDEF, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNOPS, UNFPA, IRC, the Global Fund, WVI, Global Medic-Canada, German Government, ASODH, UN Women, Japan Government, IFA, DRC, NDI, LWF, IRI, Global Affairs Canada, US Embassy regional reconstruction and Provincial teams and the Iraqi Civil Society Program Organization.
WRO has delivered over 50 projects and initiatives focused on SGBV prevention and response, psychological MHPSS and physical health, formal and non-formal education, capacity building, protection, wash, legal, advocacy, livelihoods, political and economic participation, voter and democratic awareness, peace-building, stabilization and reconstruction. WROs efforts have shed light locally and internationally through awareness raising and advocacy on many important issues such as mainstreaming gender based violence GBV across all sectors, sexual violence in conflict SVC, and other issued related to marginalized groups rights in Iraq through initiatives that directly impact tens of thousands of families each year. In partnership with UN agencies, international organizations and governmental bodies, WRO has been able to meet the needs of Syrian refugee, IDP, host communities by providing them with lifesaving services and developmental support services. WROs programming aims to increase livelihoods through economic empowerment, prevent GBV through awareness campaigns and provide women and girls who have survived SGBV and GBV and provide psychosocial support to help to heal from the psychological distress, and rediscover hope and retain dignity.
WRO is actively involved as the Chair on the Executive Board of the NGO Coordination Committee of Iraq (NCCI), Co-Chair of the Iraq Adolescent Girls Taskforce, member of the GBVIMS Taskforce, and members of the MHPSS, protection, GBV, child protection, education, health, livelihoods and social cohesion clusters, sub-clusters, and working groups. Furthermore WRO has been a part of and is an immense advocate of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security in Iraq.
WROs vision is built on the principles and believes in collaborate and collective action of civil society, international organizations and individuals to advance every woman and child affected by conflict access to social justice, be free from gender inequality in their societies, and live free from threat of violence or discrimination. WRO believes in investing in the communal needs of refugee, IDPs and host communities to forge social cohesion.
Our mission is to act in communities affected by conflict where all members of society are made vulnerable to sexual violence, economic disempowerment and lack of education, WRO advocates for the advancement and protection of women and children’s rights. We work to strengthen the capacity of all women and children, regardless of ethnicity, to become equal and empowered members of society
Secure a stronger commitment by local governments and international donors to place women’s rights and gender equality and child protection as an integral part of the broader development policy.
Ensure that women’s voices are equally represented in decision making forums at all levels of government.
Advocate and lobby to reform the legal system to protect all women from all types of discrimination, harassment, and violence.
Provide vocational training for women to support their economic participation and work towards their independence.
Raise awareness on women’s issues amongst the local population and create a space that encourages dialogue and collective action to work towards the advancement and protection of women’s rights