Rasan Organization is based in Sulaymaniyah, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It is the only registered LGBT+ organization in the country. Their mission is to improve the lives of LGBTQI people by providing them with a wide range of activities, including psychological, social, and legal support.
In all of Iraq, the position of the LGBT+ community is dreadful, to say the least. There aren’t even positive or non-offensive words or expressions in the Kurdish language to refer to LGBT+. There is no organized community and no organizations working on behalf of the community. The general notion within society is that LGBT+ is an invention from Western society.
With our funding, Rasan Organization provided knowledge about LGBT+ issues to different groups of people. They developed LGBT+ terminology that is not offensive in the Kurdish language, and translated existing online and printed LGBT+ resources into Kurdish.
Also, they organized community leader forums to advocate for LGBT+ rights. These forums included key figures from within the community, such as police officers, health care representatives, and NGOs. The leaders developed action plans resulting in awareness seminars in hospitals, as well as a session aimed at young activists concerning LGBT acceptance.