First Syrian Women’s Forum
April 8, 2021
The first Syrian Women’s Forum was held at the Free University of Aleppo in the town of Azaz on April 08 with the participation of a large number of women active in public affairs.
The Forum highly commended the role of Syrian women ten years after the start of the Syrian Revolution, stressing that Syrian women presented a model of courage, determination and commitment. Today, Syria women represent a great and unique experience of struggle, during which they faced various types of oppression and criminality with unmatched heroism and resilience. Despite the various violations, Syrian women are continuing the revolution in the face of the tyrannical regime.
The Forum stressed the need to consolidate the role of Syrian women in the political process that is based on the full commitment to the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolutions 2118 and 2254 to build a civil, democratic, pluralistic state that adopts the principle of equal citizenship and reflects the diversity and richness of Syrian society, respects human rights; has a constitution that guarantees rights, cultures and languages of all components of society; and reflects Syria’s history and civilization on the basis of the unity of the Syrian people and Syria’s territorial integrity. The Forum also stressed the need to revitalize the political process in order to achieve a political transition that begins with the departure of Assad and his regime through the formation of a transitional governing body that works to establish a safe, calm and neutral environment in accordance with a new, modern and democratic constitution in order to conduct free and fair elections in which all Syrians inside and outside the country participate under the supervision of the United Nations. It also rejected the farcical elections that the Assad regime is preparing to hold later his year as it demand serious action by the international community to prevent Russia from hijacking the political process and emptying it of its content and ignoring the demands of Syrian people.
Participants called for the immediate release of all detainees and the disclosure of the fate of the disappeared as they demanded that this issue must not be subject to negotiations. They also called on the United Nations and the international community to shoulder their responsibilities with regard to ending this human tragedy, extend a helping hand to the survivors form the detention centers and human slaughterhouses of the regime, and take care of their families.
Moreover, participants demanded the enforcement of the principles of accountability for perpetrators of war crimes and genocidal crimes against the Syrian people. They condemned the brutal bombing of civilians and populated areas by the Assad regime and its Russia and Iran allies and sectarian militias. They affirmed the voluntary and safe return of Syrian refugees and IDPs to their original areas as they rejected the repatriation of refugees before the establishment of a safe and neutral environment.
Participants called on the United Nations and all international humanitarian organizations to work on extending the mandate to deliver UN humanitarian aid to those in need, especially UN resolutions 2139 and 2165. They also stressed the need to open all border crossings as they warned that Russia’s use of the veto against the extension of the resolution on humanitarian aid will cause humanitarian disasters for civilians.
The Forum discussed the reality of Syrian women at the political, economic, social and educational levels, as well as the challenges and difficulties they are facing. It stressed the need for women to regain all their rights to jobs and equal wages, creating a suitable job environment for women; encouraging their involvement in an influential and significant way; and enhancing society’s belief in the ability of women to occupy political and decision-making positions and increase their representation by at least 30% in order to achieve parity so that they play a prominent role in the future of Syria.
Furthermore, participants talked about guaranteeing women’s legal and constitutional rights and abolishing discriminatory laws against women wherever they exist, and adopting the principle of accountability in this regard. They called for respecting the peculiarity of Syrian women and the diversity of the Syrian society.
We, Syrian women active in public affairs and society, reaffirm our strong support for women in the framework of empowering women and giving them the opportunity to participate in all institutions, political parties, civil society organizations, local administrations, and influential involvement. We also express our support for women’s role in peace building and strengthening international and local legal procedures to protect them from violence and various violations.
Participants announced the launch of the Syrian Women’s Commission and agreed to hold the second forum at a date to be determined later.
The women of Syria today are not victims, but a symbol of leadership and giving. We salute the Syrian women revolutionaries striving for freedom. We salute all women of the free Syria and all women fighting for their rights everywhere in the world