Visit of the Movement’s Delegation to Berlin – Germany
- updated: December 7, 2023
Upon the invitation of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and as part of the efforts of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement for direct political advocacy, a delegation from the movement visited Berlin, Germany, from the 6th to the 9th of November 2023. The Syrian Women’s Political Movement delegation were Farah Youssef, a member of the General Secretariat, along with Dima Moussa from the General Assembly, Afraa Hashem from the Political Committee, and Rawiya Al-Shammar from the Oversight Committee. During the visit, they met with various politicians and decision-makers influential in the Syrian file. This visit was of significant importance amid the global media and political attention shift towards the Palestinian issue, with the Syrian regime exploiting this shift to escalate tensions in northern Syria, targeting civilians, infrastructure, and vital facilities.
Several topics were discussed during the visit, including the escalation in northern Syria and its repercussions on civilians, particularly in the fragile situation after the earthquake that struck the region in February of the previous year. The delegation also highlighted the impact of the bombings on women’s political participation and their ability to play roles using virtual spaces, leading to the marginalisation of their voices.
The delegation also shed light on the current popular movement in Sweida, its demands, and the vital role of women in it. The stalled political process received significant attention in the discussions, with the movement’s members emphasising the importance of involving active international parties in the Syrian file and activating a genuine political will to resolve the conflict and achieve a political transition according to Resolution 2254.
Member of the General Assembly Dima M0ussa affirmed that the situation in the region as a whole, including Syria, cannot be achieved without addressing all the issues in the region. A sustainable peace can only be achieved through a comprehensive political solution based on the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254. She added, “This is a demand shared by all Syrian women and men, including those in regime-held areas, as evidenced by the ongoing peaceful protests for months in the Sweida governorate.”
Regarding the importance of conveying the voices and recommendations of Syrian women during these meetings to international decision-makers, Farah Youssef, a member of the General Secretariat, said, “It is essential to refocus on Syria and the Syrian issue at this critical time. These visits are centrally important in our work as a Syrian women’s political movement, sitting at the table with decision-makers and presenting our feminist perspectives on events in Syria and our recommendations to push forward the political solution. These are essential steps towards achieving the pluralistic democracy we aspire to in Syria. We not only carried our voices but also conveyed the recommendations and messages of the movement’s members, in addition to the messages and recommendations of women we meet regularly through the National Consultations program to produce policy papers that place women’s voices at the center and deliver them to decision-making tables.”
Regarding the goals and outcomes of the visit, Afraa Hashem, a member of the Political Committee, said, “As a political women’s movement, we managed to present a comprehensive and diverse women’s delegation, with varied experiences and perspectives, united in principles and demands. We were able to describe the situation in Syria from a feminist perspective, shedding light on the real needs of women that are often neglected. This, in itself, is a source of strength for us women, not only within the movement. We need regular and global feminist contributions from inside Syria and around the world to maintain our right to participate in any future political process, to remain always heard and strong.”
In conclusion, the movement, through the exchange of ideas and experiences with female politicians and decision-makers, emphasized the paramount importance of involving women in the peace process and decision-making. The efforts made during this visit not only reflect the movement’s commitment to providing a feminist perspective on Syrian issues but also highlight the urgent need for continued international support and focus on women’s rights and their effective participation in all stages of the peace process.