Grave and persistent violations of women’s rights in the context of the conflict in Syria

women’sIn the context of the current internal armed conflict in Syria , violence against women has dramatically increased. Syrian women have been exposed to arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture, sexual violence, taken as hostages or summary executed. Syrian women have been turned into war targets and weapons.

These crimes have been perpetrated in the first place by the Syrian security apparatus and their auxiliary militias “Shabiha”, but women have also been exposed to violations committed by anti-governmental armed groups. These violations are committed in a climate of impunity reinforced by the silence from the Syrian authorities and the international community.

Since March 2011, the use of systematic violence from governmental forces against the movement of protest has created a favorable context for sexual violence on women. Abuses on women including sexual harassment and rapes have firstly taken place in the context of governmental campaigns against the movement of protest , with the aim to intimidating the population and discourage the people from taking part to the anti-government movement.

A number of women have participated in protests and organized gatherings in support to the victims of the repression . Mobilization of women has been particularly important in regions such as Damascus suburb, Homs and Aleppo while being more limited in smallest cities and in the countryside. Female lawyers, students, journalists, political and human rights activists played a distinctive role in this period and continue to be active throughout civil society networks. An important number of women are also involved in the humanitarian aid to victims of the armed conflict, IDPs and refugees.