GENEVA, Switzerland (November 14, 2013) – Members of the Syrian Women’s Forum for Peace (SWFP), with support from Karama, presented the urgent priorities for Syrian women at the Pre-Session Working Group on CEDAW on October 21st in Geneva. Syrian activists and leaders emphasized Syria’s lack of consideration of 2011 recommendations shared by the CEDAW Committee regarding the new constitution and emphasized the situation of women refugees and women victims of violence as issues requiring immediate support and attention.
“Since the beginning of the Syria crisis in March 2011, no fewer than 1.8 million refugees have fled from Syria, mainly to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt. Fear of sexual violence is commonly cited by refugees as one of the reasons for leaving,” members of the SWFP shared in a statement submitted to the CEDAW Committee.
In discussion with the CEDAW Committee, the Syrian Women’s Forum for Peace also emphasized the Syrian people’s desire for peace, and the importance of women’s role in peace and transition processes. Ms. Nicole Ameline, former French Minister for Equality and Functional Equivalence and Vice-President of the Committee, reinforced support for women’s capacity development and engagement in politics. The role of the UN in promoting this and the importance of the Syrian Women’s Forum for Peace in preparing women for the next phase of state building was also stressed.
“As the international negotiation efforts try to pave the way for Geneva II, the Syrian Women’s Forum for Peace strongly believes that without the women’s full support and participation, no peace agreement can succeed or [be] implemented…To that end, we are advocating for a logical framework to assess the gender sensitivity of peace building processes in Syria,” the SWFP shared in their statement.
The Pre-Session Working Group for CEDAW allows stakeholders to contribute to the list of issues and questions State governments must in address in writing ahead of the formal review, which will take place on July 14th, 2014 in Geneva.
*For the full statement issued to the UN CEDAW Committee, please click here.
The “Syrian Women Forum for Peace” is a Syrian non-governmental organization, based in Damascus with a wide network of women and activists across the country. The Forum aims at empowering women to play an effective and constructive role in peace building process and empowering women to be a key player and form a critical mass in the political life. The Syrian Women Forum for Peace focuses on four thematic areas: Communication, Networking, Training, and Empowerment of local communities.