New Hivos Partner: Syrian Women's Forum for Peace

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Hivos People Unlimited
Western Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes

Hivos welcomes the establishment of the Syrian Women's Forum for Peace (SWFP), which aims to strengthen the role of Syrian women in forging peace in Syria and push Syrian and international public opinion to ensure that decision-makers adopt peaceful means in building a democratic state in Syria.

As a first initiative of its kind, more than forty Syrian women - civil leaders from all walks of social and political life - convened a conference in Cairo to launch this Forum and create a strategic plan to engage key individuals and organisations to help the conflict in Syria arrive at a just and peaceful solution.

Alise Mofreg, head of the Syrian Women's Organisation based in Damascus, explained that, “The role of the woman is a central facet to ensure a truly peaceful transfer of power is achieved in our country”.

The three-day conference enabled participants to forge a united vision for the role Syrian women in all spheres of public life will play, especially those involved in fighting the violence spreading through the country. The Forum aims to elevate peace as a universal value for all Syrians and promote the idea of non-violence as means to achieve political change in Syria.

Its objectives are to:

  • promote women's representation and participation in Syrian transition, democracy-building and peacemaking processes;
  • help Syrian women organise a collective voice and fully participate in public life;
  • ensure that women rights and needs are integrated across humanitarian, political, and socio-economic sectors;
  • build an effective civil society coalition to promote women's empowerment in Syria.

It has participated in several major conferences regarding future transitional processes for Syria and the important role women have in them. Their delegates attended the 57th session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and the European Leftist Conference on Peace for Syria in Istanbul in March 2013.

The Forum is becoming an essential actor in the transition process of Syria, which is why Hivos has decided to support the Forum, to a large extent because it has proven to be essential to promote women's participation in the democratisation process as soon as possible. Hivos believes that the Forum can give Syrian women a voice in these processes.