What the Women Say: Protection and Participation of Syrian Women – September 27, 2012

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Statement of Solidarity

What the Women Say: Protection and Participation of Syrian Women

We the women of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and South Asia, with our colleagues from North America and Europe, together in Istanbul, from September 12 through 16, 2012, for the first regional “What the Women Say” Forum on Women’s Rights, Peace and Security organized by the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), express our solidarity with our Syrian sisters. In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, SCR 1820 and SCR 1612, we strongly condemn all the on-going atrocities, including killings, rape, torture, disappearances, kidnappings, arrests and detention of civilians, and especially of women and children. In addition we condemn the ongoing displacement, instability and increasing security threats that civilians are facing. Syrian women are being victimized in unimaginable ways yet they are also finding the strength to care for the young, the elderly and the injured. They are the front line humanitarian actors and need the world’s assistance now.

We call for an immediate end to all hostilities.

The continuing reports of rape and other forms of gender-based violence perpetrated against women, men and children are of particular concern to us. We, therefore, call on the UN and all its member states to use all legal means to bring an end to the violence. They should ensure immediate humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees including protection and medical and psycho-social care for victims of torture and sexual violence. In addition we demand immediate unfettered humanitarian access to all violence-affected Syrians. We urge investigation into all the crimes against humanity, and all other atrocities. We further urge the UN and its member states to ensure the structured and systematic participation of women in ongoing mediation efforts including interactions and meetings with relevant parties and contact groups. In the event of preparations for a peace process or transition, in accordance with SCR 1325 and SCR 1889 and related commitments (notably national action plans on women peace and security) we expect the full inclusion of Syrian women at all stages and levels of the processes, so that women’s perspectives are fully respected and their rights and security become an integral part of Syria’s future. Thank you for your attention.

Participant Signatories

The Honourable Mobina S.B. Jaffer, Q.C., Senator, Canada

Dina Abouelsoud, Egypt

Mensur Akgun, Turkey

Mary Akrami, Afghanistan

Fatima Al-Bahdali, Iraq

Ala Ali, Kurdistan/Iraq

Razan Al-Moghrabi, Libya

Wafaa Altayeb Alnaas, Libya

Sanam Anderlini, UK/Iran

Khedija Arfaoui, Tunisia

Maha Awad, Yemen

Huma Chughtai, Pakistan

Visaka Dharmadasa, Sri Lanka

Hanaa Edwar, Iraq

Wazhma Frogh, Afghanistan

Amal Gbashi, Iraq

Amel Grami, Tunisia

Heba Hegazi, Egypt

Parisa Kakaee, Iran

Araby Kousri, Tunisia

Sarah Maguire, UK

Mercedeh Momeni, United States

Maria Munoz Maraver, Spain

Hassina Neekzad, Afghanistan

Mossarat Qadim, Pakistan

Louise Reed, UK

Intissar Rajabany, Libya

Dorsa Sobhani, Iran

Sussan Tahmasebi, Iran, USA

Sylvia Tiryaki, Turkey

Saira Zuberi, Canada

Participating Organization Endorsements

Association for War Affected Widows, Sri Lanka

Afghan Women’s Network (West), Afghanistan

Gender Actions for Peace and Security (GAPS), UK

International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), USA

Iraqi Women’s Network, Iraq

Kvinna til Kvinna, Sweden

Organization for National Accord (Unity) and Reconciliation, Libya

Paiman Alumni Trust, Pakistan

Research Institute for Women Peace and Security (RIWPS), Afghanistan

Revolutionary Women’s Coalition, Egypt

Women for Libya, Libya

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Global

Global Support

Afghan Women’s Network, Afghanistan

Asian Circle 1325, Phillippines


Bureau Consultation en Genre, Participation Citoyenne et Developpement

Center for Peace Education, Philippines

Center for Women in Governance, Uganda

Cerue Konah Garlo, Liberia

FemLINKPacific, Fiji

Fountain Isoko for Good Governance and Integrated Development, Burundi

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), Global

Le Collectif des Femmes Rurales Pour le Developpment/COFERD, DRC

Lira Rural Women & Children Development Initiative Transit Shelter (LIRWOCDI) – Uganda

Manuela Mesa, CEIPAZ, Spain

Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili, Inc. (For Women and Families Inc), Tonga

Middle East and North Africa Partnership for Preventing of Armed Conflict (MENAPPAC)

Mothers for Active Non-Violence, Ghana

National Organization for Women, Sierra LeoneNon-Violence Network in the Arab Countries

Peacewomen Across the Globe, Switzerland

Permanent Peace Movement, Lebanon

Rwanda Women’s Network

Saathi, Nepal

Samanata-Institute for Social and Gender Equality, Nepal

Sancharika Samuha, Nepal

Tears of Women, Kenya

Women and Allies Peacebuilders Network, Burundi

Women in Black, Serbia

Women in Peacebuilding Network Program of WANEP, Liberia

Women in Peacebuilding Network(WIPNET), Nigeria

Women’s Forum, Sierra Leone


Thursday, September 27, 2012