This is the brutal effect of war on the women of Syria
Orient Net - Independent 2016-01-31 13:53:00
Four million Syrians have sought refuge abroad, while a further 7.6 million have been displaced internally. Though the refugees reaching European shores are more often than not men, the humanitarian crisis affects far more women.
With men largely either engaged in fighting or prevented from leaving conflict zones, the majority of displaced Syrians are women. Fleeing the war does not mean that they have escaped violence and degradation.
Women must pass through areas controlled by regime armed groups, negotiating checkpoints where rape and sexual assault are commonplace.
When they arrive in poorly-resourced camps, they face enormous difficulties in accessing basic services -- particularly reproductive healthcare.
Displacement also amplifies the economic and security factors that drive early marriage, leaving girls even more vulnerable to this form of abuse, and seeing the rate of child marriage among Syrians in Jordan doubling between 2011 and 2012.
Women who remain in conflict areas face their own particular set of threats. UN investigators recently reported that women are increasingly being targeted in kidnappings. Where regime fighters have failed to defeat their other factions militarily, they have instead abducted their opponents’ female relatives as a means to blackmail combatants into surrendering.
Hundreds of thousands have been killed in Assad’s war against the Syrian people. The vast majority were men. The slaughter has left thousands of women as head of their household, yet even with greater responsibilities falling on Syrian women they remain drastically underrepresented at the top table of diplomatic negotiations.