Norwegian Government proposing 2 million NOK to Yanar Mohammed

The Norwegian Foreign Minister has replied to a formal written question raised by a Socialist left MP, and is now offering  NOK 2 million/USD 238 000 to support Yanar Mohammed’s work in Iraq. 

“Thank you for supporting and empower women of Iraq in these dire times”

Yanar Mohammed, 2016 Rafto Laureate

On 28.11.16, Audun Lysbakken (Socialist left MP) raised Yanar Mohammed’s case in a question addressed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende (Conservative) concerning what Norway will do to ensure security for women in Mosul after ISIS  is being expelled.

OWFI ready to create more shelters 
Mohammed has earlier in November personally expressed her concerns to various Norwegian MPs and the Prime Minister Erna Solberg during her visit to Norway to receive the Rafto Prize. She emphasized that women who are sexually exploited under ISIS’ control in Mosul, will be subjected to honor killing if they do not receive protection. Iraqi organizations, such as Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) are ready to create shelters for women in Mosul, but they lack permission from Iraqi authorities and funding. 

Norway will assist Mohammed
The uplifting answer from the government came on 5.12.16; “Norway has for several years supported projects run by local women's organizations in Iraq (…) In the revised state budget, the government has proposed to give NOK 2 million to Rafto Prize winner Yanar Mohammed’s work for women affected by conflict in Iraq, with particular focus on the areas liberated from ISIL. Yanar Mohammed pointed out that her organization has the capacity to create more shelters for women in Mosul, but they need support for this work. Norway will now assist her in establishing contacts with relevant UN agencies and others who can help them.”

"Saving lives of women is a worthy mandate" 
Yanar received the news from Baghdad this weekend, where she recently has been visiting refugee camps in the Mosul area;  

 “Thank you for deciding to support and empower women of Iraq in these dire times. More than 80,000 civilians are gathered in camps around Mosul with minimal food and locked doors. I was able to have access to one of them last Sunday to find myself surrounded with dozens of women whose husbands were killed by ISIS, and who suffered for quite some time before fleeing and then getting to the camp (…) For all the women who suffered heavily under ISIS, we will work towards securing safety and protection, while relieving them of some of their difficulties. We will find them in the camps and at the escape routes out of ISIS controlled zones. After Mosul and Hawija get liberated, we will proceed to set up safe homes in cities away from vulnerabilities of "honour killing" or other kinds of violence”, Yanar writes to us in an E-mail, and continues: 

“The Norwegian Government proves to be a true supporter of women who are trapped in the conflict with ISIS in Iraq. We will still need your support in convincing our government that saving lives of women is a worthy mandate, and also an obligation as a member of the United Nations.”

By: Kristine Gabrielsen 


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Iver Ørstavik

The Rafto Foundation, Senior Advisor
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Phone: 47096755

Heads the partnership engagement with our most recent laureates (Kashmir 2017 and Poland 2018)
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