A delegation of Syrian women’s rights activists traveled to Geneva on the occasion of the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council to emphasize the role of the International Community in ensuring justice and accountability for women survivors of violence in the time of conflict.
In the frame of the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council, EuroMed Feminist Initiative organized a lobby trip in Geneva for a delegation of Syrian women rights activists. The purpose of the trip, which took place from 1 to 4 July 2019, was to create a platform of dialogue with different stakeholders and decision-makers in order to lobby for prioritizing women’s rights and gender equality in the constitutional and transitional processes.
The delegation of Syrian WR activists in front of the Palais des Nations, Headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva
The delegation met with several UN bodies and international organizations to build cooperation and asked for concrete actions to ensure women’s political participation at the decision-making tables. The Constitutional Committee, being considered as a first step in the pursuit of a transitional process, the delegation reminded of the importance of gender-sensitive disposals, and WR activists’ participation in the Committee.
The delegation also raised the issue of Refugees in neighboring countries and European member states, where they are victims of violence due to a hostile climate and vulnerable living conditions. Moreover, the delegation called for the respect of the free will and the security of all refugees wishing to return. There was a special focus on the issues of detainees and the survivors from detention centres, who need special care and assistance. Many Syrian WR activists are facing restrictions of movement in camps in refugees’ host’s countries at a time where psychosocial support is the most needed for the victims.
From left to right: Ms. Joumana Seif, Ms. Lilian Halls-French, H.E. M. Walter Stevens, Ms. Maya Al Rahabi, Ms. Wafa Bani Mustafa and Ms. Ms. Zeina Hilal
On the third day, the delegation of activists attended the panel discussion on the Impact of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence on Political Participation organised by EuroMed Feminist Initiative and the Delegation of the European Union in Geneva. The panel aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities for the recognition of gender-based violence and the inclusion of women in the political process in Syria and globally. To know more about this event, read here.
This lobby trip was also an opportunity for the delegation to attend the Human Rights Council Sessions and see how civil society organizations can participate in the sessions and raise important issues such as gender-based violence and women’s political participation.
The ceiling of the Human Right Council