Activism to end gender-based violence

#16Days of activism to raise awareness and end gender-based violence. On the Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we hosted an event, spoke with the press and produced materials for our community in Sulaymaniyah. Orange roses signify this years’ theme #OrangetheWorld.

Join us for UNWomen’s 16Days of activism to raise awareness and end gender-based violence. Each year Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights works on the ground to produce educational and awareness raising events where we work to provide women, men and survivors the tools they need to fight, report, and end gender-based violence.

We make sure our voices are heard by speaking with the press, and get noticed by hosting events. This years’ theme #OrangetheWorld is displayed on roses, balloons, posters, billboards and clothing all throughout Sulaymaniyah.

Domestic violence is too common in Kurdistan-Iraq and Iraq where we work. During the COVID-19 lockdown, domestic violence increased by more than an estimated 20%. As part of Jiyan Foundation’s mission we seek to end these cases of violence and provide an avenue of support for women seeking refuge.

Welcome to the Psychosomatic Trauma Clinic for Women in Chamchamal

Jiyan Foundation’s all female staff standing outside the Healing Garden, located only a short walk from the Psychosomatic Trauma Clinic for Women (Womens’ Clinic) where women and their children stay for long-term treatment.

Welcome to the Psychosomatic Trauma Clinic for Women in Chamchamal


The city of Chamchamal is located in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. People here have suffered under the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. During the so-called Anfal operations of the 1980s, many people were tortured, lost their livelihoods, and continue to suffer from trauma associated with the violence. More recently, people in the region have suffered from war against ISIS. Many women who come to our center were kidnapped, bought and sold, raped, and tortured.

Since the end of the horrific regime of Saddam Hussein and more recently ISIS, violence has persisted in the region and many women and children require specific mental health treatment in a safe place.


Built in response this need, Jiyan Foundation Founder and Chairman Salah Ahmad opened the first ever Psychosomatic Trauma Clinic for Women (Women’s Clinic) in the country. Female survivors of violence and abuse, together with their children, take part in a specialized four-week program where they engage in individual and group psychotherapy, community living and live-in support.

All beneficiaries live at the clinic in safety, often far away from their normal lives where they can focus on themselves and their children. The women and children in the clinic are accompanied by our specially trained all female therapeutic team who utilize a holistic approach to recovery. Patients also engage in garden, art, play, group and individual therapies alongside comfort from animals and a community of support at the Healing Garden, located only a few minutes from the clinic in Chamchamal.

#16Days of Activism on Human Rights Day

For #16days to combat gender-based violence and in celebration of #HumanRightsDay, Jiyan Foundation teams in Kurdistan-Iraq held a series of seminars and activities at Khanke camp in the Duhok Governate. Seminars and activities highlighted human rights and women’s rights issues of particular interest to participants living there. 

Thank you to the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID Iraq)


During these 16 days our teams distributed posters, brochures, and flyers for psychological and social awareness. These informative materials were produced in collaboration with Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. and in collaboration with Aktion Deutschland Hilft.

Jiyan Foundation Adopts Guidelines on Ethical Engagement with Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Today Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights announced the adoption of the Coalition for Just Reparations’ (C4JR) Guidelines on Ethical Engagement with Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence to govern engagement with survivors when faced with media requests and responsible use of survivor experiences.

Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th, Jiyan will also engage in 16 days of activism promoted by UN Women to promote and raise awareness of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and call for other human rights and civil society organizations around the world to join Jiyan in adopting the guidelines.

As we look to fulfill the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions, and Partnerships for the Goals – Jiyan emphasizes the necessity of international organizations, private enterprises, and governments to responsibly address GBV by putting the well-being and mental health of survivors first.

“Creating ethical, safe environments for survivors to have a say on what matters to them is raison d’etre and an utmost priority for Jiyan Foundation in realizing these goals,” said Jiyan Foundation’s Head of Rights and Justice Bojan Gavrilovic. “We encourage all institutions to join Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights in endorsing and adopting C4JR’s Guidelines on Ethical Engagement with Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and joining these 16 days of activism.”

Learn how your organization can adopt these guidelines – See our full Press Release here

These 16 Days of Activism were made possible with support by