Press Releases


German Foreign Minister Baerbock in Iraq

Feminist foreign policy also for Yazidi women

Today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Society for Threatened Peoples in Göttingen stated that if German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock were serious about her own maxim of a feminist foreign policy, she should use her visit to Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan to address the situation of Yazidi women there. “All in all, the situation of the Yazidi people of Iraq is problematic. For women and girls, who have been suffering especially under Islamist terror since 2014, this is all the more true,” stated Tabea Giesecke, STP expert on ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities. “In her talks with the Iraqi Central Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the German Foreign Minister should call for improvements. Now, she can directly demonstrate her praiseworthy intentions of introducing a feminist perspective into the realm of foreign politics.”

So far, there have been hardly any accomplishments regarding a coming to terms with the genocide of 2014. “Specifically, sexualized violence against Yazidi women is hardly discussed at all in Iraq. Nobody listens to the women, and they hardly receive any support. “Under these circumstances, help in coping with trauma or even prospects for the future can’t even be thought of,” Gisecke said. “Thus, it would be especially important for Mrs. Baerbock to demand compliance with the ‘Yazidi [Women] Survivors Law’. This could improve the situation of the Yazidi women in Iraq significantly.”

Two years ago, the Iraqi parliament had ratified the “Yazidi [Women] Survivors Law”, which governs support measures for Yazidi survivors – especially Yazidi women. This includes financial compensation, rehabilitation, medical care, and economic assistance. “However, nothing much has happened since the law was passed. It only exists on paper. Neither have the women been given a safe platform to report on what happened to them, nor have the promised support measures been implemented,” Giesecke criticized. “It is particularly important that their reports are recorded, in case those who are responsible are to be held accountable for their crimes one day. The German Foreign Minister should therefore take sides with the Yazidi women and demand the law to be implemented.”

For the entire Yazidi community, the situation in Iraq is still precarious. Terror cells of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS), Turkish drone attacks on northern Iraq, and the fragility of the Iraqi state altogether are still great threats to the Yazidi community. Since the situation has not improved in years, a profound feeling of hopelessness is spreading in the community.

Tabea Giesecke is available for further questions: