Women in Syria have a relatively long history of emancipation, and the country is one of the more advanced in the Arab world when it comes to women's rights. Women obtained the right to vote in 1949, and their
in volvement in politics dates to the struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the last century. However, the effects of their participation have been stifl ed by the realities of the repressive political climate. The Ba'ath Party, a pan-Arab nationalist group, seized power in a 1963 coup and imposed a state of emergency that indefi nitely suspended many provisions and protections of the legal system. In particular, freedoms of expression and association have been severely curtailed.