Women in Iraq and Syria are the targets of brutal oppression and sexual attacks perpetrated by the self defined Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). While more attention has been given to sexual violence in conflict recently, the difficulties of and strategies against these attacks must be highlighted and discussed at the grassroots and international levels.

This is why this week, Iraqi and Syrian women’s rights advocates and their allies working against ISIL will gather to discuss grassroots strategies and confer with representatives of government and civil society in Istanbul, Turkey.

These women’s rights advocates work against ISIL to protect survivors and to document evidence of sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war.

According to WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees, “Each day, Iraqi and Syrian women activists are organising to defend their human rights against the ISIL threat. Our partners are here to share this experience with each other and with the world, and offering the opportunity for the international community to help sustain their life-saving work.”

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