Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

In Their Third Year, Kahramana Path Shines Demanding the Freedom of Running for Women

Women have never stood still waiting to get their basic rights. One of those rights is the freedom of running down the streets without harassment. On 9 March 2019, International Women’s Day, the Sport Against Violence organization and the Kahramana masar (path) held their third race for women and girls in Al Zawra’ Park in Baghdad.

Bara Mahmoud, a member of Sport Against Violence, said that “Kahramana’s race is one of the most important annual sports events. The race offers freedom for women and girls to practice their freedom of running in the streets and express themselves.” The number of contestants is increasing every year. Women are becoming more and more aware of their rights and the importance of their presence in the society they are living in, and the freedom of running without having to deal with harassment.

Mahmoud added that “there were more than 70 participants this year, which is an increase from last year. This is similar to other positive signs. The number of female participants in our last Baghdad Marathon for Peace was also the most ever, at more than 500 participants.”

Preparations began a month before the race, included obtaining safety and security approvals, working on logistical matters, and setting the route of the race. Abdullah Khalil, a logistics officer and one of the volunteers of Sport Against Violence, said: “The logistics team worked on obtaining all logistical supplies for the race, preparing the racetrack in Al Zawra’ Park, and setting the stage to reward the winners.”

Kahramana race is organized by Sport Against Violence and the Kahramana masar within the space of the Iraqi Social Forum. For the third year in a row, the race marked International Women’s Day on 8 March, and was supported by the German Embassy in Baghdad. This race is considered one of the most important preparatory races for the annual Baghdad Marathon, which is usually held at the end of the calendar year.

Baraa Mahmoud

Sport Against Violence