The struggle against gender-based violence in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region has witnessed some significant achievements since the late 1990s. A subject long excluded from public discourse in the region, it has now moved increasingly into the mainstream, compelling the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to take legal and practical measures against such practices as honor killings, female genital mutilation, and domestic violence. This article traces the sources of these shifts in the KRG's stance, looking especially at the consistent advocacy by transnational women's rights networks in the region. It highlights their successful strategy of binding their cause to the KRG's endeavor to legitimize and consolidate its contested sovereignty over the Kurdistan Region. By doing so, this paper addresses this underexplored subject in the literature on women's rights campaigns in the Kurdistan Region, and contributes to the study of transnational advocacy as a source of normative change.