Syrian Women's Charter
In collaboration with a group of independent Syrian women representing all spectrums of Syrian society and Syrian Women Forum for Peace, on January 6, 2014, more than 60 Syrian women from a number of Syrian districts and governorates met in Damascus to discuss the role of women in peacemaking and develop priorities of Syrian women under the Geneva Conference 2.
The conferees confirmed that to succeed in reaching its goals, i.e. ending the armed conflict and reaching a political solution of the Syrian crisis, the Geneva Conference 2 needs to ensure the participation of real representatives for Syrian men and women inside Syria. They emphasized the representation of women in the negotiating process to be launched at the conference and that these representatives should have an active role through a real political course.
The conferees concluded that the Geneva Conference 2 is a peace agreement that requires serious action to take measures to prevent the supply of arms and militants and to stop exporting terrorism to Syria via neighboring countries. However, it may not prejudice Syrian political entity constituents, especially writing a new constitution or the formation of a body to do so, which is exclusively an absolute right of the Syrian people through persons they elect with their own free will.
They emphasized the need to develop special programs to return the displaced and internally displaced and to ensure the protection of their human rights, notably the right to active citizenship. Moreover, clear programs to lift the siege and to integrate women in the democratic process and reconstruction and a national program to collect illegal weapons of all parties and reintegrate insurgents into society should also be develop.
The participants represented a number of Syrian governorates and cities, including Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, Tartous, Salamieh, Homs, Damascus Rural, Qamishli, Hasakah, Sweida, Daraa, Hama, Zabadani, Quneitra and Raqqa
It is worth mentioning that the Forum has already organized three workshops in Sweida, Hasakah and lattakia and distributed a questionnaire on the Syrian women's priorities for the Geneva Conference to more than 6,000 women in all parts of Syria.
The following is the text of the Charter, which was signed by the attendees :
We, Syrian women meeting in Damascus, are a voice of Syrian women nationwide, a reflection of mosaic Syrian society, the narrators of suffering and pain experienced by Syria and evidence of the sustainability and life of Syrian society. We met to form our vision, as Syrian women, and our goals that we believe that the international community should take seriously in the light of the Geneva 2.
Our vision is summarized as follows:
- The need to stop violence and take actions and measures to prevent the export of weapons and militants into the Syrian territory.
- The need to break the siege and facilitate the arrival of meaningful relief aids for those affected.
- We emphasize the unity of the country and reject any politicalsettlement on ethnic, sectarian or denominational basis.
- We reject any international intervention in issues relating to the next form of the state and constitution because it is the responsibility of the Syrian people.
- The need to stop profiteering humanitarian issues.
- Lifting economic sanctions on Syria and facilitate the flow of basic goods and services to help accelerate the process of economic recovery.
- The Geneva Conference is an international conference on the Syrian issue. To success and reach its goals, it should ensure the participation of the Syrian men and women inside Syria and a real active role, through making way for political freedoms and freedom of action of civil society and the media.
- We aspire that the future Syrian state will be a citizenship state based on human rights .
- We emphasize the need to involve women inside Syria in negotiating process as representatives of the Syrian fabric.
- The need to work on women integration in the democratic process and active participation in disarmament, reconstruction and transitional justice.
- The need to decide the fate of the abducted and detained women and not to exploit them and as means of pressure.
- The need for international cooperation through economic empowerment programs for the economically affected women and educational programs for Syria children.
We, the meeting women, from the land of Syria, call the whole world, particularly international players concerned and involved in the Syrian crisis, to make 2014 a year of peace and security in Syria and we have adopted the above points.