Turning the Tide: Syrian Women’s Rights Organisations on the Transitional Justice Map

Authored by: Rola Al Masri, Sarah Bahr, et al.

Categories: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Access to Justice and Rule of Law, Democratization and Political Participation, Economic Participation, Human Development, Peacemaking, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Syria
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2020
Citation: Al Masri, Rola et al. "Turning the Tide: Syrian Women’s Rights Organisations on the Transitional Justice Map." Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. 2020.

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Executive Summary

Discussions on the scope and modalities for justice, and transitional justice, in Syria have been the subject of debate and deliberation since the start of the protests. These discussions have often focused on traditional top down approaches to transitional justice and were based on gender-blind analysis of violations and the experience of harm. Women have largely been absent from these discussions and plans as subjects and authors. When included, it is either to discuss the issue of sexual violence or, often, as the ‘victim’ on stage to tell their testimonies. Yet women-led groups have valuable insights into the violations on women and communities, as well as their impact that must be built on and accounted for. In their daily interactions with victims and survivors, they have nuanced and critical insights into the scope and mechanisms that could provide justice to them. While transition and national mechanisms for transitional justice seem far away, measures to bring justice and accountability for human rights violations against Syrians continue. In order for these mechanisms to bear fruit and have a transformative impact, the phenomenal work and insights of women-led organisations must be brought to light and centered as the justice processes are being designed and implemented.