The Duchess of Edinburgh visits Iraq
Published 23 May 2023
The Duchess of Edinburgh is visiting Iraq at the request of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in support of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS), and to continue Her Royal Highness’s work to champion the survivors of conflict related sexual violence.
Day 1: Baghdad
The Duchess has spent two days in Baghdad, where Her Royal Highness heard about the challenges facing Iraqi women and girls, and the ongoing work to protect and promote their rights.
On Day 1, Her Royal Highness attended a session of the annual CSSF Women's Voices First Conference, where she delivered an address on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. At the conference, The Duchess also met with local Women's Rights organisations and beneficiaries supported by the programmes.
The Duchess of Edinburgh visited a high school for girls, and spoke to students and teachers about education for young women in the country, and their hopes for the future.
During the visit, Her Royal Highness engaged with the school's new and active student parliament and innovating leadership team.
While in Baghdad, The Duchess of Edinburgh was received by the President of Iraq, Abdul Latif Rashid and the First Lady, and Her Royal Highness shared a message of greeting from His Majesty The King.
The Duchess was also received by Prime Minister Mohammad Shia Al Sudani.
In the evening, Her Royal Highness attended a reception celebrating and connecting with Iraqi leaders furthering the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and met survivors.
Day 2: Baghdad
On Her Royal Highness's second day in Iraq, The Duchess of Edinburgh visited a family planning centre where Her Royal Highness saw first-hand the work being carried out to support the reproductive health and wellbeing of Iraqi women.
Later, Her Royal Highness met women business leaders to discuss the importance of women’s economic empowerment in Iraq.
Day 3: Erbil
Following engagements in Baghdad earlier in the week, The Duchess then travelled to Erbil where Her Royal Highness engaged with civil society organisations working to address the devastating impact of conflict related sexual violence (CRSV) and to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peace processes.
The Duchess of Edinburgh was received by the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Masrour Barzani, and met the Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani.
Her Royal Highness also visited the Erbil Citadel, a UNESCO-designated world heritage site.
The Duchess of Edinburgh later joined a roundtable with NGOs implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, to hear more about their work.
Day 4: Duhok
At Qadia Camp in Duhok, which is home to over 13,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), The Duchess of Edinburgh spent time with Yazidi survivors of conflict related sexual violence, who spoke about the difficulties and the stigma they face.
Her Royal Highness saw how the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) provides survivors and other IDPs at the camp with skills they can use to support their families and to secure employment.
While in Duhok, The Duchess also met female Shabak and Turkman survivors of CRSV.
Back in Erbil, Her Royal Highness heard a Yazidi survivor’s experience of being separated from her children born of rape, and her efforts to be reunited with them.