Women in the Syrian Crisis

On September 27th, USIP, in coordination with the International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network and Hivos, hosted a delegation of Syrian women who highlighted women’s roles in the current political context and the challenges they face.

Photo courtesy of NY Times

From dismal refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, to the dangerous Syrian cities and countryside, Syrian women are on the frontlines daily -- some as freedom fighters and as mothers, others as civil society activists and political change agents.

Nadim Shehadi, at the London-based think tank Chatham House, suggests that the role of women in this revolution is indispensable and that the opposition cannot succeed without them. Indeed, most wars are not fought by men alone, but rarely do we give credence to women’s efforts in war and peace. In that light, 13 years ago, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1325 to ensure that the world recognizes the inordinate burden of war on women as well as their critical role in peacebuilding.

On Friday, September 27th the U.S. Institute of Peace, in coordination with the International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network and Hivos, hosted an expert discussion with Syrian women leaders who highlighted women’s roles in the current political context and the challenges they face.

The panel featured:

  • Sabah Alhalak, Syrian’s Women’s League
  • Dr. Bassma Kodmani, Arab Reform Initiative and Syrian Women’s Network
  • Oula Ramadan, Syrian Women’s Network
  • Steve Heydemann, U.S. Institute of Peace, Moderator
  • Manal Omar, U.S. Institute of Peace, Discussant
  • Kathleen Kuehnast, U.S. Institute of Peace, Welcome & Introductions