[8 March 2018] As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the Syrian Women’s Political Movement (SWPM) urges feminists everywhere to stand with the women of Syria and enforce Syria’s nationwide ceasefire. Recent weeks have witnessed a deadly escalation of the violence across Syria, particular inside besieged Eastern Ghouta, where innocent Syrian women are suffering the brunt of the Syrian regime’s indiscriminate airstrikes, shelling and illegal chemical attacks. Speaking on International Women’s Day, the Syrian Women’s Political Movement’s Secretariat issued the following statement:

“When the United Nations unanimously called for an immediate cessation of hostilities on 24 February, the women of Syria breathed a collective sigh of relief. In Eastern Ghouta, women left their basements for the first time in weeks, and hoped the temporary peace would bring a semblance of normalcy to their daily lives. But instead of food and water, Syrian women were met with bombs and shelling. Today the women of Eastern Ghouta are confronting famine-like conditions. Baby formula has run out. Basic medicines are gone. Food and water are in short supply. The few centers that provided critical services to women have been bombed and forced to close. Women and their children are enduring napalm and chlorine gas attacks – in full view of the international community.

“Since the adoption of Security Council resolution 2401, the Syrian regime and Russia have escalated their onslaught against Syria’s civilians in Eastern Ghouta and beyond. In the past ten days, more than 300 civilians have been killed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, including dozens of women and children. Thousands more have been injured – with nowhere to go for urgently needed medical care. On this day, in which women worldwide are celebrated and honored, Syrian women are asking the world not to forget us and to join us in our calls for protection and peace. The women of Syria urgently need a ceasefire – and they need the international community to take the steps necessary to enforce it.”

On International Women’s Day, the SWPM calls on the international community to:

Take all necessary action to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2401 immediately and in full. This includes an immediate 30-day nationwide ceasefire, unhindered and immediate humanitarian access, and urgent medical evacuations from besieged areas;

Break the siege of Eastern Ghouta through air-drops if necessary. As mandated by SCR 2401, there must be free movement for humanitarian aid into the area, and free voluntary movement for civilians in and out of Eastern Ghouta;

Protect civilians against the Syrian regime and its allies’ merciless attacks, which overwhelmingly affect Syrian civilians – in particular women and children.

The Syrian Women’s Movement is an independent, political movement composed of female political activists who struggled against the tyrannical Assad regime. The Movement demands freedom, justice and dignity for all Syrian citizens as it defends the rights of women and their right to representation in all Syrian institutions.

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