Suzan Aref


Ms. Suzan Aref is the founder and director of Women Empowerment Organization (WEO) which was founded in 2004 and currently she is the coordinator of Iraq CSTF for INAP 1325 implementation. Her involvement with WPS agenda and UNSCR 1325 dates back to 2012 when she led a network of women NGOs for the development of Iraqi NAP 1325 called Iraq NAP 1325 Initiative. This advocacy work continued for 2 years until INAP 1325 was fully developed and endorsed by both Iraqi and KRG governments in 2014. Later, she contributed to the development of INAP Emergency plan and INAP priorities for 2016 within a more expanded network called Iraqi Alliance for 1325. Now, she is putting pressure along with the Alliance members to get INAP 1325 implemented across Iraq through direct work with the government ministries at both federal and KRG levels. She has been identified as the CSTF Coordinator to spearhead the government meetings for more pressure on the implementation. Up to now, advocacy work has resulted in the development of sector-specific ministry action plans which have been combined into a master plan. She is representing WEO in the board of Euromed Feminist Initiative. Suzan`s interest and experience has focused on organization development, capacity building, democratic dialogue & peace building and activities that strengthen disadvantaged groups in particular women from different life perspectives through conducting numerous number of seminars, workshops and discussions in the areas: economic empowerment, political participation, linking between academic and civil Society organization, women’s rights in the Iraqi constitution & legislation as well as reducing violence against women. She was awarded with several honorary gifts & certificates from KRG parliament, Kurdistan prime minster, The ministry of human rights-Kurdistan for her efforts in the area of human and women rights, Baghdad province council, Kurdistan prime minster and the ministry of interior. She graduated from the college of management and economy, also completed executive program of the financial institutions for private enterprise development in 2008 at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government 2008.​


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