Al Moumin to deliver lectures on human rights in Iraq Feb. 21-22

Mishkat Al Moumin, Iraq’s former Minister of Environment and now CEO of Women and the Environment Organization, will offer two public lectures at the College of William & Mary next week.

The first, on Monday, Feb. 21 at 12:50 p.m. at the School of Law, Room 127, is entitled "The Status of Human Rights In Iraq, Post Saddam." It is open to the public.

The second, on Tuesday, Feb. 22, is entitled “Promoting Women’s Rights in an Islamic Society.” That lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Millington Hall, Room 150, and is open to the public. Her lecture is in conjunction with Al Moumin’s position as the College’s Kraemer Middle East Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, and jointly sponsored by the Reves Center for International Studies and the Program in Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peace-building at the School of Law.

Al Moumin is also the founder of Women and the Environment Organization (WATEO) in Iraq. A nonprofit, non-partisan, independent organization established by members of the Iraq academic community on June 5, 2005 (coinciding with International Environment Day), its purpose is to empower the rural women of Iraq to participate in the environmental decision-making process.

Al Moumin has a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in public international law from the University of Baghdad. She has also graduated as a Mason Fellow, and a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she earned a second Master’s degree in public administration.

WATEO focuses on the concept of “security,” which for its purposes is defined as providing environmental services such as safe drinking water, reliable energy supply, routine garbage collection, and proper sanitation services. Since Iraqi women are the providers of these services within their families and communities, the focus is on empowering them, with an added emphasis on involving them in the environmental decision-making process.

Before 2004, Iraq did not have a ministry of the environment. Al Moumin designed its entire structure and also,developed new environmental law, led campaigns to support Iraqi people living in environmentally dangerous areas, and initiated awareness and cleaning projects. Prior to joining the government, she served as the women’s issues director for the Free Iraq Foundation, where she successfully advocated for women to hold 25 percent of the seats in the new Iraqi parliament.

She has published articles in various Arabic newspapers on environmental developments and women’s roles in public life. She has also authored articles on international law and international justice in a number of legal journals.

Al Moumin serves on the Board of Directors for PATH, an international nonprofit organization whose goal is to  create sustainable, culturally relevant solutions that enable communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health.