The Syrian Women´s Rights Civil Society Conference follows up on the last EU conference “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” (Brussels V), that took place on 29-30 March 2021 and made emphasis on the role of civil society organisations, in particular with regards to economic development, sustainable livelihoods, humanitarian aid, justice and peace, and underlined the importance of “Syrian women’s full and meaningful participation at all stages of the political process at a minimum of 30 per cent representation in decision-
Enhancing women’s Participation in Decision-Making and Peacebuilding Processes in Syria
The overall objective is to contribute to gender-sensitive and inclusive peace-building process in Syria, through combating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) while promoting women´s participation and women´s rights.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- Violence Against Women (VAW) and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) are better addressed and women’s participation in decision-making, peace negotiations and national reconciliation is promoted
- Survivor-led accountability for gendered crimes committed in Syria is enabled.
Implementing partner: Legal Action Worldwide (LAW)
Key achievements include:
- Two workshops were held in Gaziantep (3 and 4 December 2019) and Beirut (17 and 18 December 2019). The workshops brought together lawyers, experts and civil society activists to discuss international justice mechanisms and documentation efforts that meet the standards of international best practices with a survivor's centered approach.
- Two experts’ meetings were held in Gaziantep (5 December 2019) and Beirut (19 December 2019). The meetings gathered 32 representatives of Syrian CSOs and addressed how to expose and reduce VAWG and CRSV across Syria and to promote the inclusion of women and women’s rights defenders in peace negotiations in order to enhance the chances of sustainable peace.
- An online roundtable on Supporting a Survivor-led Justice Movement was organized on 30 July 2020. It gathered Syrian survivors together with key actors who represent survivor movements in conflict-affected and post-conflict regions. They were given the opportunity to hear first-hand about the various approaches, challenges, and benefits of community organizing to pursue justice during and after the Balkans conflict. This roundtable was the first in a series of discussions aimed at cross-regional exchange and peer-to-peer learning on the strategies available for dealing with past violations and international crimes, both at the interpersonal level and at the level of legal and political advocacy.
- Six online consultations were organized in May and June 2020 with 80 Syrian CSOs active in Europe, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. These consultations allowed to formulate joint recommendations which set the basis for developing the Common Agenda on Combating VAWG as a major barrier to women’s participation in decision making and peace building processes in Syria. The common agenda is used throughout the project and presented to stakeholders and other organizations as a tool to demand structurally improved access for women to decision making to enable their participation on local, national and international level.
This project is funded by the European Union.
In the scope of the programme "Enhancing women's participation in decision-making and peace-building processes in Syria," Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) and The EuroMed Feminist Initiative (EFI) held a conference on the 26th and 27th of October 2021 in Paris, France. This conference served as a safe space for representatives of Syrian survivors’ organisations, as well as feminist and human rights activists to meet with organisations and activists from the Balkans, Bangladesh, and Europe to exchange and discuss lessons learned.
The aim for this conference was to strengthen:
The EuroMed Feminist Initiative (EFI), and with the support of SIDA, held a gender sensitivity training in Erbil from 12-16 October, 2021, whereby 8 selected civil society activists and leaders were provided with media and comms skills pertinent to raising gender awareness. The goal of this training is to help partners increase visibility of the plight of women and girls affected by the Syria crisis in a manner that does not compromise human dignity; does not take away their voice; and works in line with internationally recognized humanitarian standards.
The EuroMed Feminist Initiative is launching the “ABC for Gender Sensitive Legislation”, the second handbook in the series ABC. Following up on the first handbook “ABC for a Gender Sensitive Constitution”, this ABC aims to bring insight, raise awareness, and stimulate debate on the need to mainstream gender perspective in law making and enhance democracy. It strives to be a tool of change and a trusted reference for lawyers, students, human rights activists, and civil society.
Two grassroots consultation meetings under the Enhancing women’s Participation in Decision-Making and Peacebuilding Processes in Syria project.