Petition: Create a Space for Syrian Women's Voices at Peace Talks
Posted on: Monday, November 25, 2013
The peace talks to bring a political settlement to the war in Syria were postponed yet again. In the interim, the slaughter of civilians continues. There will be thousands more deaths as winter encroaches, and as humanitarian aid fails to reach the most vulnerable. Those deaths will be mainly women and children.
Yet, still women are kept out of the peace talks, as if their stake in their future and the future of their country is somehow less important than the voices of the men with the guns. The international community must recognize its legal obligations, moral responsibilities and the practical necessity to ensure women’s participation: peace treaties without women do not work. If women are not a part of peace negotiations, then the peace will reflect only the interests of the most powerful and will ultimately fail.
Women have been organizing, through an inclusive and representative process, and they are prepared to participate in negotiation. Instead, they are told by the United Nations that the political situation is complicated. Women already know that. Yet, they are told that they should look for alternative models and lobby mediators in corridors.
This is untenable and wrong. We must join our Syrian sisters in raising our voices, so that Syrian women are not just included but have a real role in deciding the future of their country.
Please join in signing this petition and calling for the inclusion of Syrian women’s leadership in the Geneva II negotiations and beyond. To sign this petition, send your organization name/title to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria
John F. Kerry
United States, Secretary of State
United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
France, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Germany, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
We are acutely aware of the need for peace talks on Syria to be convened as soon as possible. Geneva II is vital and important. To date, Syrian women have not been included in the process, even though they are active, prepared and representative.
There is clear wording in the Geneva communication “that women must be fully represented in all aspects of the transition.” Yet if the peace is dictated by the warring factions, the possibility of women’s rights being accurately reflected in the transition is compromised. Women’s participation starts in the process towards peace and must be maintained.
We commend the United Kingdom for their dedication to work with Mr. Brahimi to ensure the peace talks include a direct role for women’s groups and for their commitment to ensure women’s groups are provided with the support they need to engage in meaningful participation. We urge governments to act decisively and follow the example of the United Kingdom in demanding and ensuring women’s active participation in the process and a seat at the main table of negotiations.
We recall obligations under Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325, the UN General Assembly Resolution GA/65/283 (2011), and the Security Council Resolution 2044, which reaffirm the overarching importance of women’s participation in peace-building, peace keeping and international security processes.
The international community must uphold these obligations and make them work in practice.
As organizations and individuals who work towards women’s human rights and gender equality, we call on the leadership of the negotiating process to:
1. Uphold SCR 1325 by ensuring the direct participation of Syrian women’s leadership as a third party in the Geneva II peace negotiations;
2. Provide the appropriate support Syrian women’s groups need to participate effectively;
3. Ensure that all delegations involved in the negotiations have senior women mediators and gender experts;
4. Provide an additional two seats for each delegation that is a direct party to the talks to be reserved for women.
Archives"Press Room" Home November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001
MADRE & Our Partners Make News
Iraqi government 'likely complicit' in persecution of LGBT community (The Guardian, November 19, 2014)
LGBT Iraqis face 'imminent risk of death' under Islamic State (Washington Blade, November 19, 2014)
Iraq: "When Coming Out is a Death Sentence" (San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, November 19, 2014)
The World's Obsession With Schoolgirls As Victims, And Why It's Putting Them In Danger (Think Progress, November 9, 2014)
Forbidden Talk - Prostitution in the Middle East (Levant TV, October 7, 2014)