On International Women’s Day, Protect Women of Eastern Ghouta

On International Women’s
Day, Protect Women of Eastern Ghouta

[8 March 2018] As the world
celebrates International Women’s Day, the Syrian Women’s Political Movement
(SWPM) urges feminists everywhere to stand with the women of Eastern Ghouta, and
demand international action to break the brutal siege and enforce Syria’s
ceasefire. Recent weeks have witnessed a deadly escalation of the violence
inside besieged Ghouta, with innocent Syrian women suffering the brunt of the
Syrian regime’s indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling. Speaking on
International Women’s Day, the Syrian Women’s Political Movement’s Secretariat
issued the following statement: 

“When the United Nations unanimously
called for an immediate cessation of hostilities on 24 February, the women of
Eastern Ghouta breathed a sigh of relief. They left their basements for the
first time in weeks, and hoped the temporary peace would bring a semblance of
normalcy to their daily lives. But instead of food and water, the women of
Eastern Ghouta were met with bombs and shelling.

“Since the adoption of Security
Council resolution 2401, the Syrian regime and Russia have escalated their
onslaught against Eastern Ghouta’s civilians. In the past ten days, more
than 300 civilians have been killed by Syrian and Russian warplanes in Eastern
Ghouta, including dozens of women and children. Thousands more have been
injured – with nowhere to go for urgently needed medical care.

“Today, tens of thousands of women
remains under siege throughout Eastern Ghouta, struggling to survive amid
famine-like conditions. Baby formula has run out. Basic medicines are gone.
Food and water are in short supply. The few centers that provided critical
services to women have been bombed and forced to close. On this day,
in which women worldwide are celebrated and honored, Syrian women are asking
the world not to forget us and to join us in our calls for protection and
peace. The women of Eastern Ghouta need a ceasefire – and they need the
international community to take the steps necessary to enforce it.”

On International
Women’s Day, the SWPM calls on the international community to:

(i) Take all necessary action to enforce
UN Security Council Resolution 2401
 immediately and in full. This
includes an immediate 30-day nationwide ceasefire, unhindered and immediate
humanitarian access, and urgent medical evacuations from besieged areas;

(ii) Break the siege of Eastern
 through air-drops if necessary. As mandated by SCR 2401, there
must be free movement for humanitarian aid into the area, and free voluntary
movement for civilians in and out of Eastern Ghouta.

(iii) Protect civilians against
the Syrian regime and its allies’ merciless attacks, which overwhelmingly
affect Syrian civilians – in particular women and children.