Support Single Women in the MENA Region
Single But Not Alone was a conference to support single women in the Middle East and North Africa, held in January 2014 in Iraq. In Iraq more than one million households are headed by women. Large numbers of female headed households exist in other parts of the Middle East and are likely to become a growing phenomenon as a result of social unrest and conflict in the region. In response to a similar growing phenomenon in the South Asian region, the South Asian Network for Widows’ Empowerment in Development (SANWED) was set up in 2003. UNWomen Iraq is interested in exploring with organisations working with female headed households, the viability of benefitting from the South Asian experience to set up a similar network in the Middle East.
Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the: elimination of discrimination against women and girls; empowerment of women; and, achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. This includes supporting particularly disadvantaged women, like single women in the MENA region.
Single But Not Alone – a conference of women working together to build a prosperous future, held in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq on 21-23 January 2014. It was highly successful and brought together activists, experts and academics from across Iraq and the MENA region to share experience of being a single women in the region, and created an action plan for the future. Participants agreed to set up a regional network to work for policy change on this vital issue.