Nadia Murad, UN SDG Advocate

One of 17 SDG Advocates

Is gender equality and women empowerment important for you? Do you feel it is unfair that some people live in war with a constant fear of bombs, mines and weapons? Do you want to make the world a better place? Do you want to collaborate with others to make change happen? Great! The SDGs – the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – do emphasize these issues, among many others.

The SDG 5 is all about Gender Equality. The SDG 16 promotes Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. The SDG 17 emphasizes the fact that the SDGs can be realized only with strong global partnerships and cooperation.

In an article recently published in this blog, we presented the UN SDG advocate Hindou Oumaro Ibrahim, who is a strong advocate for indigenous peoples, the environment and climate action representing the Mbororo people in the Sahel region.

In this article, we chose to focus on Nadia Murad. In 2016, she was appointed the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of United Nations. In 2018, Nadia Murad (born in Iraq) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Denis Mukwege (born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo). They received the prize "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict".

Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of ISIS gender-based violence, delivers remarks at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on July 25, 2018. (State Department photo/Public Domain.)

Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad was born in Kojo, Iraq, in 1993. Nadia belongs to the Yazidi ethnic and religious minority in northern Iraq. On 3rd August 2014, the Islamic State (IS) launched a brutal attack on Nadia Murad’s home village. Over the following days, the terrorist group executed hundreds of men and took captive thousands of women and children, publicly reviling them as 'infidels', according to a report from United Nations Human Rights.

“The Commission of Inquiry calls on the international community to recognize the crime of genocide being committed by ISIL against the Yazidis and to undertake steps to refer the situation to justice,” was the message from the Commission of Inquiry on Syria three years after the massacre, on 3rd August 2017.

“We need justice. Justice for women. We want people to accept women’s messages, so women won’t be afraid to talk about what they went through.”

- Nadia Murad

Iraqi Yazidi Islamic State survivor and activist Nadia Murad received the European Parliament’s 2016 Sakharov Prize during a ceremony in Strasbourg. Photo: ©European Union 2016 - European Parliament.

Nadia’s Initiative

In 2018, Nadia Murad founded the nonprofit organization Nadia’s Initiative. The aim of the organization is to “help women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their communities”. 

Education, healthcare and women’s empowerment

Nadia’s Initiative works in the region of Sinjar in Iraq to help rebuild the local community by providing education and healthcare. Women’s empowerment is an important part of the work and the organization gives support to survivors of sexual violence worldwide. This means that Nadia’s Initiative and Nadia Murad is a strong advocate for SDG 3 – Good Health & Well-being, SDG 4 – Quality Education, and SDG 5 – Gender Equality, among others.

SDG 3 – Good Health & Well-being

The Sustainable Development Goal 3 is “to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. The Covid-19 pandemic has unfortunately interrupted childhood immunization programmes in around 70 countries and made the health situation very difficult.

According to UNSD, United Nations Statistics Division, less than half of the global population is covered by essential health services. Service cancellations due to covid-19 will lead to 100 percent increase in malaria deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa, says UNSD.

Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being

UN Digital Dialogue on 6th Anniversary of Yazidi Genocide

On the sixth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide, on 3rd August 2020, Nadia’s Initiative co-hosts a UN digital dialogue about the genocidal campaign against the Yazidi minority. Co-hosts are also the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations in New York and the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in New York.

Message from Ato Dakheel to the world on the 6th anniversary of the Yazidi genocide, August 3rd 2020. Experience advocate of Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions. 

Ato Dakheel, Goodwill Ambassador in Sweden representing the Yazidi people of Iran, Iraq and Syria. 

Interview with Ato Dakheel

On the 6th anniversary of the Yazidi genocide on August 3rd 2020, Globcal International Ambassador Maria Veneke Ylikomi had a conversation with Ato Dakheel, an indigenous Yazidi who currently lives in Sweden.
Today I am very sad, says Ato. There should be no difference between different groups of people in Iraq or other countries, says Ato Dakheel, who today lives in Sweden.
Ato Dakheel hopes that in the future, Yazidi children and young people will be able to live like everyone else and have the same rights as everyone else.
There should be no difference between different groups of people in Iraq, says Ato.
It was the city of Sinjar/Shingal that IS attacked on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014. Ato remembers the city of Sinjar very well. He says that he was 15 years old when IS came to the village with their big, new cars. Before the terrible event, Ato and his family enjoyed life very much in the village.
We lived in a small village that belonged to the town of Sinjar. It was very simple, but it was like a paradise for us. We were very grateful.
The Sinjar Mountains have always been and are still an important symbol for Yazidis, says Ato.
The Sinjar Mountains are like a mother who has taken care of me. IS could not get up there. It is very difficult to get up there by car. We were there for eight days before we went by foot to Syria. There were thousands of children, young people, women and men.
We ask Ato about his message to the world on the 6th anniversary of the Yazidi genocide. Ato replies that he hopes that there will be no war again.
I hope there will be peace. I hope that all people will be equal.

Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

UN SDG Advocates for 2019–2020

The United Nations has appointed the following 17 SDG advocates for 2019–2020.

Sustainable Development Goals Advocates - Photo: United Nations

  1. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
  2. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
  3. HM Queen Mathilde, Belgium
  4. HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Qatar
  5. HH Muhammadu Sanusi II Emir of Kano, Nigeria
  6. Richard Curtis, United States
  7. Hindou Oumaro Ibrahim, Chad
  8. Jack Ma, China
  9. Graça Machel, Mozambique
  10. Dia Mirza, India
  11. Dr. Alaa Murabit, Canada
  12. Nadia Murad, Iraq
  13. Edward (Eddie) Ndopu, Namibia
  14. Paul Poman, the Netherlands
  15. Jeffrey Sachs, United States
  16. Marta Vieira da Silva, Brazil
  17. Forest Whitaker, United States

Agenda 2030

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs – were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.

Agenda 2030. 17 Sustainable Development Goals - Illustration: United Nations

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health & Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water & Sanitation
  7. Affordable & Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work & Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities & Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption & Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals
Learn more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at Act4SDGsUN SDG Action Campaign or on the United Nations Sustainable Development Platform

Join us as a member of Globcal International if you have a project that you want to develop or you can also join us to become a goodwill ambassador for one of our programs under development.
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