Ensuring Women’s Participation in Future Political and Economic Decision-making in Syria Now

The panel discussion "Ensuring Women’s Participation in Future Political and Economic Decision-making in Syria Now” took place on March 24, 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York, click here to view the complete photo albumThe event was co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN and Euromed Feminist Initiative in partnership with the Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN) during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 61 (CSW).

Panelists

Boriana Jonsson, Executive Director of Euromed Feminist Initiative, underlined the heavy context of a six years-long violent conflict in Syria in which this panel was taking place, reminding that even if UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura has made important efforts to include women in the political process, there are still too few women that participate in the UN-led peace talks and that therefore their influence remains limited in many of the discussions about the future of their country. She regretted the limited participation from Syria due the travel restrictions imposed by the host country of CSW61. 

Ms. Boriana Johnson, Executive director of Euromed Feminist Initiative                                                  Panel

In her opening remarks in the panel, H.E. Ms. Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden emphasized the importance of women’s participation in peace processes and encouraged Syrian delegations to include more women, to give those who already participate a more active and visible role, stressing that: “Peace processes that involve women are more legitimate & stand a better chance at being sustainable”. 

       H.E. Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden             H.E. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive  Director of UN                                                                                                                                                 Women, H.E. Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign                                                                                                                                                                                    Affairs of Sweden

In keeping within the framework of the 2017 CSW main theme on women’s roles in the changing global economy, the three distinguished panelists, Ms. Mariam Jalabi, Director of the Office of the Syrian Coalition to the UN, Ms. Joumana Seif, Founding member of Syrian Women's Network and its representative in the civil society rooms to the UN Special Envoy, and Ms. Rafif Jouejati, Founder and Director of FREE-Syria, discussed the current role of Syrian women and how their participation in decision making now intersects with economic development in Syria’s future. Underlying the strength of Syrian women and their leading role, and questioning the commitment of the international community, they formulated proposals to ensure women’s role and rights, as well as gender equality, in the political and economic decision-making during the transition process of reconciliation and reconstruction. Furthermore, the discussions focused on the shared vision for what is needed from the international community to create sustainable peace, democracy, and development in Syria.

Ms. Mariam Jalabi, Director of the Office of the Syrian Coalition to the UN   

      Ms. Rafif Jouejati, Founder and Director of  Free Syria                     Ms. Joumana Seif, Founding member of Syrian Women's Network     

In his closing remarks, Mr. Miroslav Jenča, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, elaborated that changing the situation for women is changing the situation of the world. 

Mr. Miroslav Jenča, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs

The panel contributed to amplifying the voice of the Syrian women’s rights activists demanding an immediate end of the bloodshed and violence in Syria and to their relentless requests to the international community to better support the women’s participation not only at the negotiation table but throughout the transitional period and relating to all political and economic decision-making.

Please click here to view the complete photo album.