Khanim Latif

Executive Director Asuda NGO in Iraq

Country of focus: Iraq

Khanim Latif (@KhanimL) is Founder and Executive Director of Asuda, an independent NGO that works to halt violence against women. Asuda is based in Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

She briefed the UN Security Council on the situation of women and civil society in Iraq on May 18, 2023.

Ms. Latif founded the first women’s shelter in Iraq in 2002. Asuda has provided direct emergency assistance, medical assistance, socio- psychological counselling, economic empowerment and livelihood support for thousands of survivors of gender-based violence, including Syrian refugees and internally displaced people.

She was one of the first to draw global attention to the kidnapping and sexual violence against Yazidi women by ISIS militants. She has also played a major role in preparing the law to compensate Yazidi women and girls victimized by ISIS.

Between 2019 to 2022, Ms. Latif worked as the Iraqi President’s Advisor for women and civil society affairs.

She was awarded a BA in Law and Political Science from the University of Human Development in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq and a diploma in Social Work Practices from Canterbury Church University in the UK.

In 2016 she received a Vital Voices Global Leadership award and is a member of the organization’s VV100, a group of 100 of the most engaged and visionary members selected for partnerships to develop tailored support.

Ms. Latif has been an Advisor to the Global Fund for Women with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa since 2015. She has been a member of Frontline Defenders International since 2010 and of Amnesty International since 2006.

A founding member of UNSCR 1325’s Iraqi National Action Plan Coalition, she has worked extensively on the women, peace and security agenda since the regime of  Saddam Hussein was toppled.

Among her several publications on women rights’ violations and gender-based violence in Iraq is the Kurdish-language Consequences of Violence against Women.