Three Syrian women leaders have travelled from Damascus and Beirut to New York for a historic event this Friday. For the first time, Syrian women will brief the UN Security Council. They will face the 15 Council Members including Russia and United States to discuss the realities of conflict in Syria and critical elements to resolve the conflict and build sustainable peace. 

No Peace Without Women

“Syrian women are demanding and have a right to meaningfully participate in next week’s Geneva II peace negotiations and Syrian peace processes” states PeaceWomen Director, Maria Butler. The right to participate will be a core part of the delegation’s advocacy this week in New York.

WILPF’s Gender, Peace and Security Programme, PeaceWomen, has initiated and worked tirelessly to ensure this special meeting between the Syrian women and Security Council. This meeting represents our strong belief in inclusive peace and the presence of civil society at the highest level of decision-making.

It is Security Council resolution 1325 in action!

International Community’s Failure to Include Women

So far in the Syrian peace process, there has been a stunning democratic deficit and a failure to uphold commitments to women’s equal human rights including the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.

At the present, it is rumored that there are two women, one on both governmental and opposition side, scheduled to participate in next week’s planned Geneva II peace talks.

Beyond this, the majority of Syrian stakeholders – civil society (especially women who are working on the ground for peace) – are not guaranteed meaningful representation neither through a  third party representation nor having a consultative statues in the peace talks.

Brahimi needs to take action – now!
Picture of Brahimi

WILPF encourages Mr. Brahimi to include women from the Syrian civil society in the Syrian peace negotiations. Photo credits: Rowan Farrell.

Several leading Member States including  Netherlands, Norway, and especially the United Kingdom have shown support for both women at the table and a civil society forum.

Yet we still are waiting to see real change and commitment. The Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, must now take action and give women a space at the negotiations.

Stand with the Syrian women

WILPF supports Syrian women in courageously standing up in the face of opposition and persecution to demand what is right: the inclusion of women in the peace talks and transition processes.

The three Syrian women leaders will also be part of an open event as part of PeaceWomen’s Lecture Series this Thursday as well as other high level discussions during their visit to New York.

Stand with the Syrian women tomorrow, for women and for their right to be heard.

How to Contribute

If you would like to support these women and their right to speak, join the campaign Women Lead to Peace and sign the petition to include Syrian women at the table.

The campaign is led by a coalition of women’s organisations, including WILPF, which are working to ensure that Syrian women play a vital role at the Geneva II peace talks.

WILPF in close collaboration with other INGOs in consultation with Syrian women organisations has developed a 5-step plan with concrete mechanisms that need to be in place to ensure women’s rights, their inclusion and real participation in the peace process.

To read more about the semi-private UN side event Thursday, check out the event details on PeaceWomen’s website. As this event unfolds, we will keep you updated via articles on our website and announcements on social media, so stay tuned!

The side event is Thursday January 16th 2014 at the United Nations in New York. It will be held in North Lawn Building Room 4 from 13:15 to 14:30. The event is semi-private; a UN badge is required to attend the event.