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The GCSP and WILPF Hold a Public Discussion on Women in Syria

The GCSP and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) brought together four female Syrian civil society leaders for a public discussion to discuss the space created by Syrian women to pursue their struggle for freedom and human rights on both the grassroots and international levels.

The discussion, held at the GCSP on June 16, discussed the involvement of women in all aspects of the ongoing Syrian conflict and the need for real and effective participation of women in the peace processes taking place. As women face not only non-gendered impacts resulting from the conflict but also gendered threats, their role is crucial moving forward. When it comes to the drafting process, the gender dimension of the conflict should inform all parts of legal documents and reports being produced.

Ms Laila Alodaat, the Crisis Response Programme Manager for the WILPF, opened the talk by stressing the need for an encompassing gender perspective on the Syrian conflict and its consequences.

Highlighting the particularly negative impacts on women of armed attacks, damages to infrastructures, but also internal displacement, Ms Salma Kahale, the Executive Director of Dawlaty, reasserted the crucial role for documentation of the events taking place in Syria.

The Director of Musawa, Ms Maya Al Rahbi, emphasised the gendered discrimination faced by Syrian women in Syria, as well as in neighbouring countries, regarding access to documents and ensuing legal constraints.

Ms Rula Asad, Director of the Syrian Female Journalist Network, also underlined not only the need for integration of Syrians in host countries but also the necessity for enabling the potential return of these individuals. In this regard, the moderator, Ms Madeline Rees, the Secretary General of WILPF, called for more inclusion of women in peace processes, particularly women on the ground.

All panelists agreed on the role of women in documenting, negotiating and making decisions regarding all levels of the peace and transition processes, as well as on the effective support the European public can provide.