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Statement: Ensuring Inclusion of Syrian Women in the Mediation of the Conflict

June 4, 2013

Joint statement by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), International Civil Society Action Network, Olof Palme International Center, Kvinna till Kvinna, HIVOS, NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security and the Syrian Women’s Network

Syrian young girls

Syrian young girls displaced by conflict at Za’atri refugee camp. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom with several international civil society organisations and the Syrian Women’s Network (SWN) expect the Geneva Process to be renewed with the aim of bringing about a resolution to the crisis in Syria and the building of a democratic system. We demand the full and effective participation of Syrian women from civil society in any and all forthcoming meetings.

Syrian women have long been at the forefront of demanding equality, freedom and social justice and have had the courage to act non-violently for these fundamental rights.  As Syrian people have become displaced and turned into refuges, women have been taking the responsibility of providing humanitarian relief and assisting in their recovery.

Throughout the country, Syrian women leaders of all ages and diverse social and political backgrounds have also been the voices calling for peace and reconciliation. There is an active and independent civil society movement that has also been systematically marginalized from the international discussions, yet it is fundamental for the future.  The situation in Syria is complex and to resolve it and reach a sustainable and just peace, women voices and contributions are critical.

We know that ensuring the effective inclusion of Syrian women from a range of civil society groups is articulated in the UN Security Council resolution 1325 and its subsequent resolutions.  It is reiterated in the UN GA Resolution 65/283 endorsed by the majority of UN member states.  Many of you also have your National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security that demand the full and effective inclusion of women.

You as the international community have laid out the policy framework to ensure women’s full and effective representation in such serious matters.  We need you to fulfill your commitments in the case of Syria.

Putting these policies into practice is urgently needed. And in order to create the conditions for meaningful conclusion of the conflict, we call on all parties to declare an immediate ceasefire.

Download this statement in PDF here.

Read our open letter to key governments and agencies asking for women’s effective and full inclusion in the mediation and negotiations of conflict.

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