Gona Saed was forced to flee Iraqi – Kurdistan in 1998 because of her active involvement in campaigning for human and women’s rights. She has lived in the UK since then and is currently Project Development Manager of the Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation, a UK Charity based in London. Gona is working for her MSc in Development Studies at SOAS. She co-founded several organisations including the Independent Women Organisation in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1993, and the Kurdistan Secular centre in 2015, which will be the main the focus of her talk.
The Kurdistan Secular Centre (KSC) was formally established during a public meeting held in April 2015 in Suleymaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, in the presence of national media and hundreds of supporters. It is the first Secular Centre in Kurdistan and Iraq that promotes secularism and calls for the separation of religion from the state and governing systems. The Centre was established by academics, intellectuals, and political and human rights activists.
The Centre will organize and direct a secularist movement that seeks to implement the aims of the Secularism Charter in Kurdistan:
- A complete separation of religion and state and the removal of religion from the constitution;
- Full equality for all people before the law regardless of their religion, beliefs, gender, ethnicity or nationality;
- Full gender equality with regard to economic, legal and social rights;
- Freedom of speech, expression, criticism, research and thought, creativity and invention;
- The removal of religious influence from the Personal Status Law and Penal Code, and a rewriting of these Codes on secular principles;
- A secular education system, disconnected from religious institutions;
- The end of financial support for religious institutions from the state and the prohibition of all forms of violence, the incitement to violence, exploitation, hatred or excommunication by any religious institutions
Doors 10.30. Entry £3, £2 concs./free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members.
Tea, coffee & biscuits will be available.