The Syrian Women’s Political Movement’s Participation in the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68)

The Syrian Women’s Political Movement participated in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) in New York from March 13th to 15th, 2024. This participation included a series of bilateral meetings organised by SWPM  with missions of members of states of various countries and partners. Additionally, the SWPM organised an event titled “Women Leaders for Alternative Strategies,” sponsored by several countries and partners. The movement’s delegation included members Khawla Barghout, Mariam Jalabi, Lubna Alkanawati, and Wejdan Nassif.

On the first day of the visit, Wednesday, March 13th, 2024, the delegation of the movement, represented by its members Mariam Jalabi and Wejdan Nassif, engaged in several bilateral meetings, including:

  • – A meeting with the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations, Jassem Al-Thani.
  • – A meeting with the Minister’s Advisor and Head of Law and Human Rights at the French Mission to the United Nations, Diarra Dime-Labille.
  • – A meeting with the Political Affairs Advisor at the Belgian Mission to the United Nations, Christophe Cardon.
  • – A meeting with the Executive Director of the Peace and Stability Operations Program (PSOPs), Pamela Moore, and with the Senior Program Officer, Athena Aglionats.

On the second day of the visit, Thursday, March 14th, 2024, the delegation of the movement, represented by members Khawla Barghout, Mariam Jalabi, and Wejdan Nassif, met with the Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, Bob Rae.

On the third day of the visit, Friday, March 15th, 2024, the delegation of the movement, represented by members Khawla Barghout, Mariam Jalabi, and Wejdan Nassif, participated in the following meetings:

– A meeting with the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UNDPPA), Rosemary DiCarlo.

– A meeting with the Political Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations, Robert Chris.


During these meetings, the delegation of the movement reiterated that a military solution would only lead to further bloodshed, emphasizing that the only solution in Syria is a political one. They stressed the urgent need to end the political deadlock and push the political process forward in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, to achieve a unified democratic Syria. The delegation also discussed the impact of some Arab countries’ normalization with the Syrian regime on the political transition in Syria. They emphasized the necessity of involving Syrian women in the political process by no less than 30%.

The movement’s delegation explained that after the war in Gaza, the level of violence, particularly among women, has increased. They emphasized the need to find ways to protect Syrian women within Syria who face numerous pressures and threats from the authorities, especially Syrian women engaged in public affairs, including the recent incident of the killing of Syrian Women’s Political Movement member Heba Haj Aaref.

The delegation also discussed the dire situation faced by the majority of the Syrian people due to the deteriorating Syrian economy, where most Syrians live below the poverty line. Additionally, they highlighted the lack of services, poor education, widespread corruption, violence, kidnappings, drugs, and drug trafficking. The delegation also shed light on the movement in Suwayda and the protests against Al-Julani in Idlib, despite the tightening security measures throughout Syria.

The movement’s members explained during the visits how the movement engages and networks with various Syrian opposition political bodies and forces. They described how the Syrian Women’s Political Movement practices politics from a feminist perspective and works to convey the demands of women in Syria to decision-makers through a national consultation program the movement has been conducting for years. They also discussed how the movement communicates with women inside Syria despite the significant challenges they face, through focused virtual dialogue sessions with women from diverse cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. The movement annually engages with approximately 350 women across Syrian territories, discussing various political topics and deriving key recommendations from these sessions. The delegation clarified that the participating women in these sessions, through discussions on various political topics, have proven their ability to be leaders and influencers in their communities, emphasizing the need to provide opportunities for them to be truly visible, heard, and effective.

 On March 15th, 2024, the Syrian Women’s Political Movement organized a side event on the sidelines of the 68th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) titled “Women Leaders for Alternative Strategies from Palestine, Syria, and Yemen.” The movement hosted this event in partnership with the Yemeni Peace Path Initiative and Vital Voices, with joint sponsorship from the Permanent Missions of Ireland, Belgium, France, and Canada. Representatives from member states, UN diplomats, and international non-governmental organizations were invited to attend. Over 60 official and diplomatic figures participated in the event. The speakers included Palestinian leader Dalal Iriqat, Yemeni leader Linda Al-Obahi, along with Syrian Women’s Political Movement member Lubna Alkanawati. The event was moderated by Joanne Sandler.

During the session, several interventions were presented, including:

  • SWPM Delegation: Wejdan Nassif.
  • Vital Voices:  Saba Ghori Vice President of Global Networks.
  • Canada: H.E. Ambassador  Robert Keith Rae.
  • France: H.E. Ambassador. Nathalie Broadhurst.
  • Ireland: H.E. Mr. Fergal Mythen.
  • Belgium: H.E. Mr. Karl Lagatie.

“As a survivor of chemical weapons attacks, I want to say that Assad is still capable of using them again due to the lack of real accountability.” – Syrian Women’s Political Movement member Lubna Alkanawati

“After five years of working in the National Consultations Program, listening to and consulting with hundreds of Syrian women from various regions and religious, sectarian, ethnic, and even ideological backgrounds, I can say that Syrian women are capable of innovating ideas and solutions for all political issues. They are capable of formulating inclusive consensus positions that take into account the interests and aspirations of all segments of the Syrian people and the future of women’s rights in Syria. Through this program, our movement has established an important network that can be built upon within Syria. Additionally, it has become impossible to ignore this network in the Syrian political arena abroad. It thus represents a unique phenomenon and an example of how alternative strategies can be formed from a feminist perspective to achieve a political solution that derives its legitimacy from the ground, considers the interests of all segments of the Syrian people, includes their diverse voices, and ensures their interests in reaching a just and sustainable peace in our country.” – Syrian Women’s Political Movement member and National Consultations Team member Wejdan Nassif.