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Our History

Rasan is a nongovernmental organization that was established in 2004. It works for defending women and LGBTQI rights in Iraq generally and Kurdistan specifically.

Our Vision & Mission

Having a country of gender equality and liberty and working to improve the lives of women, youth, and the LGBTQI community in Iraq.

Our Objectives

To achieve its objectives, Rasan implements the following activities:

  1. Protection:
  • Providing legal, psychological, and social support directly for women clients and LGBTQI
  • Helping clients to understand and exercise their legal, social, medical, economic, and political rights.
  • Providing women with basic needs such as food, hygiene, and clothes, especially for vulnerable women such as refugees, IDPs, widows, pregnant mothers, and divorced women.
  1. Awareness:
  • Training courses and workshops for women. Men, and youth. Awareness-raising for leaders in society such as government officials, tribal chiefs, religious leaders, political parties, and others.
  • Working with community advisory committees and youth to combat violence against women and girls and promote LGBTQI Rights.
  • Convening conferences and seminars to raise awareness about women’s rights and the impacts of gender-based violence.
  1. Research and monitoring:
  • Collecting and compiling data on the prevalence of gender-based violence and LGBTQI community publishing findings on an online database.
  • Conducting assessments to understand the basic needs of women and LGBTQI in host communities, refugee camps, and IDPs areas.
  1. Lobby and alliance:
  • Working in coordination with the Kurdish government and influencing the development of legal standards and laws that protect women and LGBTQI
  • Combating traditions and customs that contradict women’s rights and LGBTQI Rights.
  1. Women’s capacity building and Empowerment :
  • Professional training
  • Special educational programs and professional curricula.
  • Research and economic studies that contribute to raising the standard of living for women

Future Work

The organization’s main goals for the next two to three years and why they are important to us.

  1. Combating violence against women and LGBTQI.
  2. Eradication of discrimination and all forms of violence against women and LGBTQI.
  3. Promoting the awareness of the public about the negative consequences of violence against women and LGBTQI.
  4. Helping women and LGBTQI members to reach their legal, social, medical, economic, and political rights.
  5. Assisting women and LGBTQI to have a better life by providing basic needs of life such as food, hygiene, cloth, and etc for vulnerable women especially; refugees, IDPs, widows, pregnant, and divorced.

Because we believe in serving the society and developing it to form a better life for everyone in it, and we see that women’s rights and LGBTQI Rights issue is not only about women and LGBTQI themselves. It is actually about every single human being, we have listed these goals and dedicated our lives to achieve them.


 Our Team

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Tanya was the founder and director of Hanna Children Organization and is currently the Director of Rasan Organization.
She was a Kurdistan Parliament candidate for the 2013 elections, and an active member of Sulaymaniyah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is also a member of, and participated in the following: Women Union of Kurdistan since 2006, Communication manager of Economical Empowerment of Widows in Iraq in 2009, Member of 1325 Security Council Resolution in 2010, communication specialist at the business women association of Iraq in Kurdistan 2013, and a member of the public collaboration at Kurdistan Peace Friendship Collaboration.
Ayaz Shalal
Ayaz studied Business Administration and Political Science at the American University of Iraq – Sulaimanyah (AUIS). He is a feminist who has been working for women’s rights, LGBTQI rights, and gender equality for almost seven years. He is a co-founder of Rasan Organization. He is an alumni of the SUSI (Study of the U.S. Institutes) 2014 program in the United States. He is also a fellow of Amends program in Koç University in Istanbul and Stanford University in the United States, a Laureate Global Fellow, IYLA Global Fellow, and World Bank Global Youth Forum Fellow in Washington DC. Ayaz is a peer educator trainer at UNFPA and the founder of Social Awareness organization (SAO) at AUIS. He is currently writing a book about homosexuality in Iraq. He also wrote several articles about Love, God, Religion, Women’s Rights, Honor killing, and Child abuse. He believes in liberty, love, equality, and peace. He always says, “If I want to be happy I have to make others happy as well.” To fulfill this, he is working in the human rights field. He started from gender equality as a first step toward his journey to change the world.
Avan Adham
She is a 24-year old-activist in the humanitarian field. She is raised with a multicultural background, born in Mosul, moved to Europe, The Netherlands from the mid-1990s to 2004, moved back to Sulaimaniyah – KRG, Iraq and has studied and worked in Sulaimanyah ever since. She speaks several languages, English, Dutch, and Arabic of those being, but Kurdish is her mother tongue and Kurdistan her hometown. 
She has a working experience of about 5-6 years and has started working at a very young age whilst being a student. She graduated in the year 2018 and has a bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and Public Relations from the College of Law and Politics in the University of Human Development. The field she has mostly worked in evolves around human rights and humanitarian fields in NGOs because one of her aspirations in life is to help vulnerable people. 
She finds the potential in her that is needed to help others and be of use in the greater system of humanitarian assistance. Some of her great skills are social influencer, consultancy, management, and teamwork. Her hobbies include reading, swimming, and horse riding.
Shatoo
Shatoo is the case manager for LGBT+ cases
Lava Omer
Lava is the accountant.
Zino Dilshad
Zino is a 23-year-old doctor and IYLEP-UG alumnus who was born and raised in Slemani, Kurdistan. 
she speaks Kurdish and English languages.
she has started her volunteering journey since she was 15, and has worked with several organizations ever since.
in 2017, she got accepted as a participant of an Iraqi Exchange Program, IYLEP for leadership training and environmental studies in the US.
she graduated from the college of Medicine-UOS in the year 2019, but she has always been interested in project coordination and management and has coordinated in two international medical conferences.   
she is known as one of the most active students in the college of Medicine-University of Slemani and has received several certificates for it.
some of her great skills are Teamwork, creativity, good communication skills and sense of responsibility.
one of her hobbies is hiking and she owns a public Instagram page where she encourages hiking culture in our community.
Ahmed Hadi
Ahmed is an artist who also works as a driver for Rasan.
Sonia Sardar
Sonia is the case manager for women’s projects.
Noor Baqi
Noor is a 29-year-old lawyer working for Rasan organization for women cases. She has worked for Rasan since 2017. She is a graduate of Rafidain University, law college. She enjoys helping others, and this drove her to study law so she can defend people’s rights. Noor tries to make a change. She likes to have football matches for fun.
Zhiar Ali
Zhiar Ali is a journalist, artist, and activist. He is actively working as a human rights and animal rights activist in the Kurdistan region. He co-founded the first animal rights organization supported by the philosophy of veganism in 2018. He also founded the first association to openly and specifically support the Kurdish LGBTQI+ community. As of now, he is working with Rasan as a Social Media Director and is interested in the LGBTQI+ related work.
Shanya Nawzad
Shanya is Rasan’s Project Coordinator for the women projects. She is passionate about management, administration, and teamwork. She is a graduate of Business Administration from Ishik University. She is the current coordinator of the “Strongest Women” project at Rasan.