For the second consecutive year, Hayat Mirshad cooperated with Internews within Aswatuna project in Iraq working on empowering women to participate equally as citizens and decision makers as a critical element of good governance and a fundamental prerequisite for peacebuilding, gender equality, and poverty reduction.

Mirshad was the lead trainer and mentor of the project, where she provided over a practical online advocacy training for 25 women HRDs on how to lobby more effectively for their cause, paired with women journalists from the Internews women’s network. During the hands-on training, the women HRDs developed and pitched ideas for advocacy campaigns that highlight locally relevant women’s rights issues with a special focus on conflict-affected women and women’s political and economic inclusion in Iraq. At the close of the training, the most promising 6 of those ideas were encouraged in cooperation with the women journalists to enroll in a small grants programme that  supported their implementation to elevate them to the national level.

Mirshad also led an integral part of the small grants mechanism which is the mentorship provided to the grantees. As a mentor, Hayat supervised the implementation of the projects and provided the grantees with guidance and advice on future projects and opportunities for development.