The war in Syria has started five years ago. Tens of thousands of Syrians are either dead or missing and about 50% of Syrians have had no choice but to flee their homes for the hope of a better future for their families. The humanitarian crisis in Syria is horrific. However, in the middle of all the human tragedies, women activists are working under extremely difficult conditions to build peace and reduce the effects of the violence.
“Women’s groups are working undercover, holding workshops for women against illiteracy and crafts trainings, and at the same time talking about how wrong it is for children to become fighters and how it contributes to the increase of violence in society,” argues Oula Ramadan, executive director of the Badael Foundation, a Syrian NGO working on peace and conflict resolution issues from its headquarters in Turkey. While Badael means “alternative” in Arabic, Ramadan says that “there are always alternatives to violence and dictatorship, you just have to find them. And if Syrian women are excluded from the peace processes and solutions today, there is no future for democracy in Syria”.
The “Peacebuilding defines our future now” report is the first to describe the peacebuilding work carried out by women organizations and women activists in Syria, in the midst of the ongoing conflict. It is co-produced by the Syrian Badael Foundation and Kvinna till Kvinna.