Syrian women: Leading towards a peaceful Syria

Date: Friday, March 5, 2021

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, Syrian women have been pushing for a political solution to a protracted conflict that has entered its 11th year. In the face of continued crisis, Syrian women continue to exercise leadership roles across the country and in the UN-led political process. They have made vital contributions in humanitarian assistance and peacemaking efforts, healthcare and education — serving as breadwinners of their families, as humanitarian first responders, leaders in displacement camps, and as peacebuilders. Women have also taken a leading role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite their leadership across the country, Syrian women continue to face challenges in political life. There have been some recent gains in the area of gender equality and women's rights in Syria, such as the inclusion of nearly 30% women in the Constitutional Committee, amendments to the Personal Status Law, increased participation in training and skills development activities, and a rise in female entrepreneurship in the country since the beginning of the conflict. However, women’s direct participation in the high-level peace negotiations and the percentage of women in political decision-making at the national and local levels continue to remain disappointingly low.

On this International Women’s Day, we celebrate the leadership and determination of Syrian women, by sharing the voices of some of the countless women who have persevered on the frontlines over the last 11 years, working together to ensure women’s meaningful participation in Syria’s political process.