Syrian Conflict: What Role for Women?

This Friday, 17 January, the UN Security Council will hold a closed Arria formula meeting, organised by Luxembourg and the UK, focusing on women’s participation in resolving the Syrian conflict. The panelists will be representatives of the Syrian Women’s League, Syrian Women’s Network and the Syrian Women’s Coalition for Democracy.


The meeting is expected to provide Council members with an opportunity to discuss how to strengthen women’s full and equal participation in talks on Syria’s future, the gender impact of the conflict including sexual violence and other gender-based violations, and get recommendations from the panelists on how the Council should approach and support both the participation and protection elements of the women, peace and security agenda in its Syria-focused work.


The civil society representatives briefing Council members today recently attended a conference in Geneva of Syrian women organised by UN Women on 12-13 January 2014 that was also attended by UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi. The panelists are likely to highlight this conference’s outcome statement which made several concrete recommendations regarding women’s participation in the Geneva II peace talks, slated to begin on 22 January 2014.


For Geneva II talks, the statement demanded, among other things, a 30 percent proportion of women on all negotiating teams and committees, that representatives of women’s organisations are included as observers, meaningful participation by women during the entire negotiation and transition process, and that a gender adviser be appointed to the mediation team.


For further details, click here.


For an overview on the Conference of Syrian women, convened by UN Women on 12-13 January 2014, click here.