GPG newsletter

November 2021


Our newest research paper is out!

We are delighted to announce the launch of our latest publication ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment in Iraq: Voices of Female Entrepreneurs’, written by GPG’s Associate, Researcher and Policy Consultant Müjge Küçükkeleş as part of our Voices from Iraq series under our currently Sida-funded project in Iraq.

Last year we launched the first paper of the series, Economic Drivers of Youth Political Discontent in Iraq, which came in reaction to the widespread popular protests which started on the 1st of October 2019. That research responded directly to the tumultuous events of the past year and explored perceptions and attitudes of young people in Iraq and Kurdistan in their own words. The report formulated recommendations for policymakers, as well as further questions which deserve exploration in greater depth. This second part of the series follows on to capture the Voices of Female Entrepreneurs, painting a picture of the challenges they face and opportunities they see, and drawing wider lessons from them on Iraqi economy, society, and politics.

For over a decade, GPG has built experience of delivering political reform programmes in Iraq. ‘Improving Policy, Service Delivery, Gender Equality and Responsiveness to Iraqi Citizens’ is a multi-year Sida-funded project that aims to support the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR), the Speakership, Parliamentary Committees, Regional CoR Offices, citizens and Civil Society Organisations by adopting inclusive and evidence-based policy mechanisms, examining how legislation and policies operate in practice, and making constructive proposals for improvements. This publication forms part of that project.

We sincerely thank the people who have supported this research with their time and honest opinions, and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) for enabling this initiative.

If you are interested in finding out more about GPG’s work in Iraq, on youth political participation, or our other research and publications, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or email us at

Read our recent blogs

Can allyship make a difference?
This month, GPG’s Project Coordination Assistant Mia Marty, who worked last year on our project exploring the role of male allies in supporting women in politics, discussed applying the project’s findings and core values to our new programme supporting female candidates hoping to run for the upcoming municipal elections in Lebanon.

Returning from Tashkent
Last month, alongside GPG’s Head of Programmes Zafran Iqbal, GPG Associate Baroness Alison Suttie visited the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, just as the country hosted its presidential elections. Returned from the visit, she examined the elections’ results, and what they revealed of Uzbekistan’s hopes for its future.

Make sure to also read our November Associate Profile. This month, we find out about Margaret Curran, a former Member of Parliament in the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament.


GPG team to visit Bahrain in the coming month

The modern slavery project is continuing with planned activities to develop supporting material and content for Sudan’s National Committee for Combatting Trafficking (NCCT) once they get back to work. Currently the team is conducting a study on structures for National Referral Mechanisms (NRM) that might be relevant for Sudan’s development of its own. The project team will conduct a visit to Bahrain in mid-December to meet with the anti-trafficking institutions responsible for Bahrain’s innovative NRM system to learn about their set up and gather relevant lessons for Sudan’s NCCT.

The military takeover in Sudan has hampered delivery of programmes for international organisations operating in Sudan, GPG included. The month of November witnessed large-scale demonstrations demanding a return to civilian rule, culminating in a controversial agreement between the military and ousted prime minister Hamdok, who returned into office. Protests are still continuing in Sudan, calling for complete civilian handover of power and for those responsible the for loss of life during the anti-coup demonstrations to be held accountable. At the moment, the safety of our stakeholders across projects remains our number one priority. We will continue to monitor the developments in the country and follow UK government guidance for Sudan.


Our Iraq team prepares for a December trip

GPG’s Iraq’s team will visit Iraq for the first time in over 18 months to continue our support to the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR). During the first week of December, GPG Associate Lord Jeremy Purvis of Tweed, joined by our Head of Iraq Programme, Adlah Alkurdi, will hold a series of high-level consultations and seminars for a senior parliamentary delegation from the CoR, during the first week of December. 

The programme will include virtual meetings with senior officials from the UK House of Commons and the Northern Ireland Assembly discussing areas of priority for the Iraqi Parliament. This will include public engagement and outreach in transitional periods, effective and transparent management of parliamentary business, proactive and inclusive policy making, and impartial support to the incoming independent and protest movements Members of Parliament who, for the first time in the history of Iraqi politics, were supported into office by series of civil protests. 

GPG has produced several publications for the new Iraqi parliament, including our Guide to Parliaments issues, available on our Publications page. Those papers discuss topics related to effective and proactive policy-making, or handling media relations and social media platforms to better engage with the public and relay their concerns to policy makers. To find out more, make sure to follow us our social media channels.


Consulting with Nazaha to provide continued support in the coming months

This month, GPG held successful consultation meetings with Nazaha, the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority. In the past few weeks we discussed our support to the Kuwait Integrity and Anti-Corruption Strategy (KIACS) implementation of Access to Information, Electoral Finance Legislation, and Parliamentary Codes of Conduct. GPG is currently coordinating with different Nazaha stakeholders to inform its approaches and contributions to several activities Nazaha is planning over the next few months.


A promising start to the next stage of our project

We are excited to announce that this month, GPGF launched its Strategic Platform for Women in Lebanon with local partners LOST! 45 women are taking part in this 8-session programme to work on their campaign planning for the municipal elections. Local Associates Dr. Josephine Zgheib, Dr. Halimeh Kaakour, and Mr. Moataz Ghaddar are leading the sessions in several locations with participants from Mount Lebanon, Beirut, Tripoli, Bekaa and Baalbek, Shouf and Saida.

The sessions are designed for potential women candidates to be able to apply their knowledge and skills to plan and design their campaigns at the municipal level in different areas, which include identifying local issues and solutions in their towns, networking and building partnerships and allyships, and working on their media and social media presence.

GPGF is also making progress on the research strand of the project which investigates the electoral campaigning process at the local level in Lebanon and uncovers the strategies that women can leverage to get elected in their municipalities based on past campaigning experiences of women and men. Keep an eye on our social media platforms to be the first to know when our publication is out!