The Urgent Need for A Comprehensive Legal Framework to Combat Violence against Women and Girls in Syria

Discriminatory provisions against women exist in different Syrian laws, related to both family and public life. Though Syrian Constitution articles stipulate for equality between women and men citizens, double legal standards persist, which further perpetuates discrimination and violence against women and girls (VAWG).

This policy brief sheds light on why combating VAWG in Syria is priority and indicates to the fundamental elements required to prevent and combat such violence in a comprehensive manner, and as a part of an urgent legal reform process to improve the status of women and women´s rights in Syria.

The brief is based on the outcomes of studies conducted by Equal Citizenship Centre (ECC) between 2017 and 2021, as well as of consultative discussions held between -2021 2023 during several expert roundtables that gathered over 35 Syrian legal experts and 40 gender and women´s rights experts from over 20 civil society organisations (CSOs) working on combating VAWG in Syria.

They have analysed the status of women in the national legislation and public policies with a purpose to come up with informed recommendations to all actors and stakeholders who work on combating VAWG in Syria and wish to contribute to change.

The brief recommends reforming the legal framework that hinders equal rights to women and girls. Elimination of discriminatory articles in the national laws, specifically those in the Personal Status Law, Penal Code, Nationality Law and even in the Labour Law and Social Security Law is a necessary first step for preventing and combating VAWG.

The policy brief calls for the adoption of a comprehensive law that combats all forms of VAWG in accordance with United Nations (UN) legal instruments and explains the required elements of such a law: prevention, protection, remedy for women victims, prosecution of perpetrators as well as information gathering and cooperation among all concerned parties.

Policy papers