The Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) should be proud of its reputation as a guardian of minorities, providing at risk groups with security and shelter. However, despite its rich social tapestry, the political system within the KRI does not reflect its diversity. In order to give minorities a stronger voice in the KRI, this diverse ethno-religious constituency requires true representation in governance and civic life.
Currently 11 MPs represent minorities in Parliament but are only involved in crafting laws without real participation in decision-making and implementation processes in Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). One way to begin building on existing mechanisms and ensure shared ownership of the system of governance would be via the establishment of councils for ethnic and religious minorities.
Building the confidence of minority groups in the KRI’s system of governance would ensure not only lasting stability and acceptance, but the preservation of the area’s vibrant and rich social tapestry as well.