Syria

Women have played a huge role in the success of movements around the world. From the Arab Spring to the most recent Ukrainian revolution, women are front and center. Here's a roundup of some modern movements. Are there any others you would include?

Syrian women were largely absent from this week's peace talks in Geneva. Yet they continue to demand inclusion in deciding the fate of their country. Hear what they have to say about where they call home in this moving video.

Human Rights Watch released a report stating that certain “extremist armed opposition groups are imposing strict and discriminatory rules on women and girls that have no basis in Syrian law,” but their are some brave women not afraid to question "law."

Amnesty International has condemned the lack of willingness of EU Member States to resettle refugees from Syria. EU countries have offered to receive through resettlement or humanitarian admission programs around 12,000 of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria, which amounts to just 0.5 percent of the 2.3 million people who have fled the country.

Many opposition leaders have praised women for their role in the uprising against the Assad regime. But women remain marginalized in opposition politics, portending an uncertain future for female participation in the post-conflict Syrian political sphere.

As the Syrian Revolution continues, its consequences continue to affect refugees who have fled the violence in the country, especially women who are paying a double price as victims of violence in these armed conflicts. Within this context, news on Syrian refugee girls forced marriages or even campaigns to marry them off to “protect their virtue” have gone viral on social media.
An image that has become synonymous with the Syrian uprising—any Syrian you speak to knows its intricate details—is of a woman in a blood-red dress standing outside the parliament building in Damascus, holding a sign that says: “Stop the killing. We want to build a home for all Syrians.” With the uprising rapidly descending into civil war and with the media transmitting images of young men with AK47s rather than placard-waving crowds, the weapons could easily supplant the woman in our collective consciousness.

When Rima Dali was arrested on April 8 for holding a banner reading “Stop the killing. We want to build a country for all Syrians”, Safana Baqleh was the first person who rushed to defend her and try to stop the security forces from taking her with them. For this attempt she too was arrested, together with other activists attending a peaceful protest in front of the Syrian parliament. Rima Dali was released on April 10, but Safana remains in detention, as do activists Hussam Dahna, Ali Zain and Assem Hamsho.

On 22 February, 2012, four Western journalists were attacked in a house - thought to be safe - in Baba Amr, Homs, by Syrian regime forces. American Sunday Times' journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Olchik died when the makeshift media centre frequented by mainstream and citizen journalists was shelled. The two remaining journalists, Le Figaro's Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy, were injured and managed to survive the attack.

Syrian authorities have arrested blogger Razan Ghazzawi on the Syrian-Jordanian border. Ghazzawi was on her way to Amman to attend a workshop on press freedom in the Arab world when she was arrested. Her arrest has drawn criticism and anger from bloggers and activists around the world, who called for her immediate release. Ghazzawi is a US-born Syrian blogger and avid Twitter user, who has contributed to both Global Voices Online and Global Voices Advocacy. She is also one of the few bloggers in Syria who writes under her real name, advocating for the rights of bloggers and activists arrested by the Syrian regime, as well as the rights of gays and minorities.