If world leaders want to see a future in Syria that is free of gender-based violence and systemic discrimination, they need to listen to the people who are affected by it the most.
Syrian women have been largely cut out from the political process, including the peace negotiations that started in 2011. This means they can’t speak publicly about their experiences or take positions of influence in discussions that will impact their everyday lives.
They are worried that the lack of women’s participation in local, national and regional governments will have disastrous effects on the future of human rights, especially for women and girls, and are demanding that they be allowed to fully participate in processes to shape Syria’s future.
“We were displaced, treated unjustly and we lost loved ones. This affected us a lot. But unlike before, I’m now aware… I’m able to make decisions. I will not be absent.” -Ruqayyah
Women pay a disproportionate price for conflict, where they are subjected to multiple violations and abuses, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and gender-based violence. That’s why Syrian women are standing up as leaders in their communities, coming from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, organising around a promise that women’s voices will be part of processes that protect all Syrians from violence regardless of their gender.
Send Syrian women a message of solidarity, telling them that you believe equal and effective representation should be a pillar of such political processes.