NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — On Wednesday, the Syrian Women’s Council marked the fourth anniversary of its founding. Lina Barakat, General Coordinator of the Council, explained that the Council was established in difficult circumstances during the Syrian crisis and at a time when the suffering of women worsened.
The issue of women’s rights was not related to the Syrian crisis only, said Barakat, it has been an issue for decades. Women had to stand on their own feet and defend themselves against the crimes and violations they are subjected to, whether from extremist organizations, war, or so-called “traditional” mindsets, she added.
The Council has sought to bring women together under one umbrella to safeguard their rights, Barakat stated.
On the most prominent work and activities carried out by the Council, Barakat said that opening sessions on political topics related to the future of Syria, such as negotiation, defense mobilization, the political process in Geneva, the writing of a new constitution have been important in expanding the knowledge and role of women in Syria. She also highlighted the Council’s cultural and social work and peacebuilding seminars.
The Syrian Women’s Council also paid special attention to the camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and foreigners, especially Al-Hol Camp, providing rehabilitation courses and psychological support for women and children in the camps.
The Council’s work was not only local. It joined regional security and peace initiatives, participated in the Second Conference of Women in the Middle East, and has maintained communications with the European Union and United Nations.
Barakat concluded by pointing out that the Council has sent many messages to international authorities calling for more to be done on behalf of women in territory occupied by Turkey and its Syrian National Army (SNA) proxies but little to nothing has been done to prevent the abuses.