FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE SYRIAN WOMEN’S POLITICAL MOVEMENT Paris, 22-24 October 2017
- By: Mona Katoub
- updated: October 25, 2017
- reading time: 4 Minutes and 51 seconds
To establish a democratic and pluralistic State based on the principles of equal citizenship for all citizens regardless of their gender, race, religion, sect, geographic region or identity. A State based on the rule of law that affords equal rights to women and men without discrimination. A State protected by a gender-sensitive constitution that forms the basis for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women at the political, legal, economic, social and cultural levels, and complies with all relevant international human rights treaties and conventions, in particular the CEDAW Convention.
Who we are
We are Syrian women politicians and activists who oppose tyranny and demand freedom, justice and dignity for all Syrian citizens. We continue to defend the rights of Syrian women in our country. We hail from all segments of Syrian society, and have diverse intellectual and political backgrounds. Our movement is an inclusive one that includes women of diverse experiences and capabilities, and which articulates diverse Syrian demands. We all share a belief in women’s rights, gender equality and the importance of women’s empowerment and active participation in all aspects of life and decision-making in Syria and for its future.
1. Commitment to a fundamental transformation of the structure of the State from an authoritarian regime to a democratic, pluralistic State.
2. Commitment to a political and peaceful solution for Syria.
3. Women’s representation of at least 30% in all decision-making institutions and entities.
4. Full adherence to international humanitarian laws and international human rights laws, including the Geneva Declaration of 2012, UN Security Council resolutions 2118 (2013), 2254 (2015) and all resolutions relating to Syria, as well as UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000).
5. Accountability and transitional justice are integral elements of political transition. All those who have the blood of the Syrian people on their hands must be brought to justice if Syria is to achieve a comprehensive, just and sustainable peace.
6. Articulation of the priorities and demands of the Syrian people by prioritizing the following humanitarian and political files:
(a) Protection of civilians from all acts of violence;
(b) Release of detainees and the disclosure of the fate of the disappeared;
(c) Lifting of all sieges and securing unimpeded, continuous humanitarian access to all areas in need;
(d) Voluntary return of IDPs and refugees to their homes in dignity.
7. Full awareness of the importance of the Kurdish issue in Syria that recognizes that no comprehensive solution can be reached without an arrangement that guarantees the rights of all.
8. The transitional period shall be governed by gender-sensitive constitutional principles that provide the basis for a permanent constitution guaranteeing Syria’s territorial integrity as a land and people, sovereignty and independence, rule of law, regular transition of power, separation of powers, human rights and equality.
9. Ensuring the protection of diversity in society and combating discrimination in all its forms.
10. None of this can be achieved while Assad and the symbols of the regime remain in power.
The Syrian Women’s Political Movement is a long-term movement that will work in three phases:
PHASE 1: CURRENT CONTEXT
1. Establish real on-the-ground presence inside Syria, and in the neighboring countries of refuge and in the diaspora.
2. Develop a strategy to strengthen and deepen the movement’s links to Syrian women inside and outside of Syria, Syrian feminist organizations, Syrian human rights organizations, and local councils, with the goal of incorporating their demands within political processes, and highlighting their activities for the international community.
3. Regular meetings of the movement (every 3-4 months) with the goal of expanding membership in include, in particular, politically independent young women, members of Syrian civil society and representatives of women’s organizations.
4. Raise awareness, particularly in IDP and refugee communities, about the importance of women’s political participation at all levels.
5. Media campaigns and advocacy to gain the support of Syrians and international community.
6. Establish a quota of 30% for women’s representation in all delegations and negotiations on Syria and its future.
7. Provide a gender-sensitive perspective on all files of importance for Syria, including: constitution; transitional governing body; transitional justice; detainees / the forcibly disappeared; the voluntary and dignified return of refugees; early recovery and reconstruction; education; and health.
PHASE 2: TRANSITION
1. Achieve 30% representation of women in all TGBs and decision-making institutions and entities.
2. Apply the movement’s vision to all the outcomes of the transitional phase files on the ground.
3. Participate in the constituent body that will draft a permanent constitution for the future Syria.
4. Participate in the implementation of gender-sensitive transitional justice mechanisms.
5. Work with elements of Syrian society continuously and engage with them in order to support a constitution that guarantees women’s rights.
PHASE 3: FUTURE SYRIA
1. Hold a referendum on the country’s permanent gender-sensitive constitution.
2. Participate in the committees responsible for harmonizing laws with the Constitution.
3. Ensure 30% women’s representation in all decision-making positions, aiming to achieve full equality.
4. Develop systematic strategies to transform the prevailing culture that tolerates social discrimination; promoting civil peace; spreading a culture of nonviolence; and combating terrorism.
5. Develop and implement national plans and strategies to ensure women’s effective participation in all aspects of life, and affirmative action designed to bolster women’s participation.
6. The revolution of dignity to achieve freedom, justice and equality continues.