Damascus, SANA – A Syrian Woman Forum, organized by the General Women Union, launched its activities on Sunday and will continue for another day.
Issues related to the effective and influential position which women enjoy in Syria and their indispensable role in the political, cultural, media, legal, health, economic, education and social fields will figure prominently in the course of discussions at the forum, which comes one day after Mothers’ Day was celebrated in Syria.
Most of the speeches delivered at the forum’s opening ceremony highlighted the heavy toll which the terrorism crisis in the country has taken on women, with many of those losing loved ones on the battlefield against terrorists or in terrorist attacks, while others have been driven out of their homes and had to work to provide for their families.
Another aspect of the crisis’s impact on women in Syria is that of women falling victim to terrorist organizations in the areas they take over, getting killed, raped, taken as sex slaves or recruited to take up arms and fight within those organizations’ ranks.
Minister of Social Affairs Kinda al-Shammat affirmed in her speech that the Syrian women have suffered dramatically since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011 after they were pioneers in many key decision-making positions.
Yet, al-Shammat added, the Syrian woman have proved defiant enough and stood side by side with men to confront the terrorist war on Syria, sacrificing their sons in its defense, and in many cases fighting on the ground along with the army members, in addition to being committed to their work and responsibilities in all positions against all odds.
For her part, Chairperson of the General Women Union Majida Qteit said while women were the hardest hit by the terrorist acts in the country, they are still strongly standing their ground and utilizing their potentials and abilities in the various fields to contribute to helping the homeland get on its feet again.
The opening of the forum, which will come out with a set of recommendations and proposals tomorrow, was attended by ministers of Justice, Higher Education, Education and Health, MPs, figures from al-Baath Arab Socialist Party and representatives of popular and vocational organizations.
In the second session of the Forum, participants called for revising laws that discriminate against women, specifically laws pertaining to the age of marriage and marriages conducted outside courts.
They also called for raising awareness among women about their rights and laws, empowering women in politics and public life, and improving the conditions of women in rural areas and temporary housing centers, in addition to stressing the importance of partnerships among all relevant sides to improve the status of women, particularly in terms of education.
The participants called for raising health awareness among women, demanding that international and Arab organizations dedicated to women’s right take action to support Syrian women and to condemn the violations against them committed by terrorists and in refugee camps.
Manar al-Frieh/Haifa Said / Hazem Sabbagh