Celebrating Feminists’ Voices, Inspiring Global Peace

Report Release: “Violations Against Women In Syria And The Disproportionate Impact Of The Conflict On Them: NGO Summary Report for the Universal Periodic Review of Syria”

3 June 2016

We are delighted to share with you the latest NGO Summary Report for the Universal Periodic Review of Syria “Violations Against Women In Syria And The Disproportionate Impact Of The Conflict On Them” in English and in Arabic.

The aim of this report is to highlight the Syrian state responsibility towards women, the violation it committed against them and the way the conflict impacts them disproportionately. This report is prepared to feed into the universal periodic review of the Syrian state, and therefore does not cover violations against women committed by other warring parties to the conflict in Syria. 

This report is the product of months of hard work by phenomenal Syrian women organisations who face devastating threats and challenges every day with the aim of bringing justice to Syrian women and men, providing them with much needed services, and carrying their voices to the international fora hoping for a change in the realities that was imposed on them by suppression, militarization and dysfunction of the international system. It was completed in collaboration with the Crisis Response and Human Rights programmes at WILPF, and with the support of The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation.

Violence once again is escalating in Syria after the failure of the ceasefire that was brokered in February 2016, and the international community fails to protect the Syrian women and men from mass atrocities. WILPF therefore believes that addressing the root causes of conflict from a gender perspective has never been more needed and crucial to achieving transformative change and sustainable peace.

With this aim in mind, we have worked with Syrian grassroots women organisations to collect data, develop drafting skills, improve gender analysis and produce a report that highlights the crimes committed against Syrian women and the disproportionate impact of the armed conflict on them.

We believe that this analysis, done by the Syrian experts (listed below) who have the first hand experience on the ground and carry the voices, hopes and concerns of Syrian women is an essential tool for policy makers, international organisations, and parties involved in the peace building process to understand the harsh experiences of women throughout the conflict and reflect their needs and aims in humanitarian polices and political strategies.

This report is part of a long-term commitment by WILPF to the Syrian cause and to the work of our Syrian partners, we hope it serves as a step towards bringing their voices to the UPR process, to decision makers and to people around the world.

With this aim in mind, a delegation from the drafting organisations will come to Geneva to participate in a roundtable meeting with member states, a side-event at the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council, and a public event at the Maison de la Paix in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

    • Badael Foundation
    • BIHAR Relief Organization
    • Center for Civil Society and Democracy (CCSD)
    • Dawlaty
    • Musawa – Women’s Study Center
    • Syrian Female Journalists Network
    • Syrian League for Citizenship
    • Urnammu
    • Women Now for Development
    • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

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Read the report in English

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Read the report in Arabic

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Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

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WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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