Political vision – The First General Assembly Meeting of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement 12-14 January 2019

The Syrian Women’s Political Movement (SWPM) general assembly reaffirmed in its first General Assembly Meeting held in 12-14 January 2019 the vision adopted in the founding document of the Movement, in addition to the following:

•         The only solution in Syria is a political solution that guarantees the unity of the Syrian territories and people and ensures the transition to a democratic pluralistic state; a state of complete and equal citizenship for all its citizens regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity or any other affiliation or categorization; and a state that ensures peaceful transfer of power without any tyranny on its territories, whether by the Syrian regime or the different de facto forces, and without any foreign presence on Syrian soil, whether foreign sectarian militias or foreign fighters and armies.

•         The Constitution is an essential part of the political process, as the main guarantor of citizens’ rights, women and men; it is necessary to draft a new constitution to replace the constitution of 2012, which lacks legitimacy having been drafted by a militant dictatorial regime which granted itself absolute powers through the provisions of said constitution. Therefore, we consider drafting a new constitution a challenge within the efforts to reach a political agreement on the transitional period; and we shall always insist on the importance of negotiating a Transitional Governing Body and the priority of securing a safe and neutral environment before holding any referendum or elections.

•         Focusing and intensifying efforts on the issues of detainees, missing women and men, and forcibly disappeared women and men. Such issues shall be addressed as the cornerstone for building a safe and neutral environment in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué (2012) and the United Nations vision for the political process; shedding light on the ongoing arrests by the regime in areas over which it recently restored control, in violation of the guarantees made by Russia; and focusing on the negative impact of such practices on the likelihood of the return of refugees, as sought by neighboring and European countries.

•         Shedding light on coercing young men to engage in the military conflict by the regime and the de facto forces which control other parts of Syria; a matter leading to further disintegration and suffering for Syrian society, especially women.

•         Reiterating the linking of reconstruction with political transition, since achieving the safe and neutral environment is one of the conditions for guaranteeing property rights for all citizens, women and men; rejecting the current attempts for reconstruction sought by the regime and war businessmen who have been trading with the resources and blood of the Syrian people; calling for utilizing international channels that operate with transparency and integrity, in addition to civil society organizations and feminist associations which are not working under the control of the regime to expose said attempts and help the Syrian people reconstruct the country within a vision that focused on the best interest of the Syrian individual and her/his rights at all levels.

•         Rejecting the systematic demographic change policy pursued by the regime and other parties involved in the conflict, whether by not allowing civilians originally from areas where the regime has restored control to return to these areas, or by indirect means such as enacting laws that violate their rights, e.g. Law 10 of 2018, which entitles the regime to confiscate properties of IDPs and refugees, thus impeding their ability to return to their original areas of residence.

•         Recognizing that several Syrian areas continue to be potential struggle grounds against tyranny, it is necessary to devise methods and strategies for non-violent activism to fight tyranny in all its forms to achieve freedom, dignity, full democracy, and human rights including women’s rights.

•         Demanding treating the issue of refugees as a political matter that should not be subject to extortion; rejecting all violations against refugees including applying pressures to forcibly repatriate them to Syria before ensuring their right to safe and voluntary return. These pressures take indirect forms, primarily through denying them legal documents, basic services, and the right to education.

•         Committing to our position that rejects all forms of forced displacement, whether direct or resulting from cracking down or prosecuting any group of the Syrian people by any party.

•         Committing to seek enshrining equal citizenship for all Syrian women and men in the constitution, laws, and policies, without any discrimination on any basis, and developing mechanisms to ensure the implementation thereof.