The Syrian Constitutional Committee.. a double exclusion of Kurds and women

The matter seems clear when the issue relates to the failure of negotiations between the conflicting parties up to this point within the Syrian Constitutional Committee, as most of the reason is attributed to the balance of power on the ground between the countries concerned with the Syrian conflict.

But if we go into the details, we will see that what is hidden is greater, as the exclusion of the Autonomous Administration that manages nearly a third of the area of ​​Syria, including the Kurdish component, seems a logical reason among the reasons for the failure of these negotiations, as for what made matters worse is the exclusion and marginalization of women in the three constituent groups for the Constitutional Committee.

Despite the UN envoy’s keenness on a stronger participation of all groups of Syrian society, and in particular a stronger participation of women, during the formation of this committee, civil society participation was imposed with a third of the seats in the Constitutional Committee, which constituted a point of contention between the two parties in the attempt of both the regime and the opposition to influence the choice of the personalities of this list.

As for women's participation in the political process and negotiations, especially the constitutional committee that met for the first time on October 30, 2019 at the United Nations Office in Geneva, its share was 30 percent of all 150 members of the committee.

While the Syrian High Negotiations Committee was established on December 10, 2015 during a meeting held by the Syrian opposition parties in Riyadh, the share of women was two out of all 32 members of the body.

Regardless of the number of women participating; In both the negotiating body and the constitutional committee, which many Syrians see as not expressing the actual participation of women in decision-making at the level of Syria, in contrast to a unique and pioneering experience of women in the north and east of Syria, women in this region, including Yazidi women, who is marginalized.

The general coordinator of the Syrian Women’s Council, Lina Barakat, says: “We witnessed during the sequence of events in the Syrian crisis, especially in international platforms that the presence of women is marginalized, after the formation of the constitutional committee consisting of 150 members, the percentage of women's representation in it was about 30 percent, but in reality it was only 26 percent”.

"It is regrettable so far that it has been limited to the relief role and not to the role of political decision-making," Barakat adds.

If we return to the regions of north and east Syria that are controlled by the Autonomous Administration, there is a veto, especially by Turkey, on the participation of women from this region, for several reasons, including international conflicts and also the lack of political recognition of the Autonomous Administration, and all of these matters had an impact on women's participation in any meeting she must have a role inside.

In this regard, Barakat added, "The regions of northeastern Syria witnessed a real revolution in the reality of women, but women from the region remained far from participating in any international platform or any committees formed regarding negotiation, the constitutional committee, the Geneva platform, and others".

Five rounds of the work of the Constitutional Committee took place in Syria over a period of 15 months, without any significant development recorded for this committee, amid increasing doubts about the viability of its continuation, except for wasting more time in a vicious circle.

Eliminating the Autonomous Administration

None of the rounds of negotiations have so far achieved significant progress due to the exclusion of the actual forces on the ground in Syria, as the exclusion of the representatives of northeastern Syria from this committee continues until now due to Turkish pressure and the acquiescence of Russia and the Damascus government to it.

The United Nations envoy to Syria, Mr. Geir Pedersen, who had always been positive over the past rounds, also began to despair. At the conclusion of the fifth round recently, he expressed great disappointment at the repeated failure, saying, "We cannot continue like that".

In this regard, a member of the Constitutional Committee, Dr. Dorsen Oskan, a human rights activist from northeastern Syria, says: “We proposed the accession of the Autonomous Administration at the meeting of the Constitutional Committee and considered its absence in the meeting of the Constitutional Committee more than once a source of concern for the residents of this region because of the potential projects that may be this region will be destroyed if the Democratic Autonomous Administration is not involved in the political process, but we have not yet heard any clear and explicit answer from the members of the committee, while the UN team said vaguely that this formation of the Constitutional Committee may not be the final form and other members may join it.

Regarding the path taken by the Syrian Democratic Council in the regions of northeastern Syria, the co-chair of the Executive Council, Riyad Dirar, stated several times that they in the Syrian Democratic Council had taken a different opposition in its mechanism and in its perceptions of what the “opposition” had pursued, which took a form of international recognition but did not be at the level of the issue.

On the military side, it was the Syrian Democratic Forces that were able to give a real picture of the future Syria.

Regarding the official position of the Autonomous Administration, announced its rejection of any results issued by the meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, considering the absence of its representatives in the committee "exclusion" and "a denial of the will of 5 million Syrian people.

The statements issued by many Autonomous Administration officials made it clear that they are continuing their work for the sake of a democratic, and pluralistic Syria, and that they are absolutely not concerned with the results that will come out of any committee or meeting without the presence of their people's political will, calling on the whole world to take responsible positions regarding these denial policies against the people’s right.

The stance of the people of northeastern Syria was clear, as thousands of its components marched and protested against these "unfair practices".

Last but not least, and at a time when the Syrian opposition has failed to present an alternative to the regime until now, the question remains: Is it still possible to find an end to the Syrian crisis, which is manifested in the form of a people suffering displacement, and not represented by the meetings, including the committee meeting Constitutional.

However, there are remains a glimmer of hope and many solutions and proposals looming on the horizon from time to time, as the UN special envoy to Syria, Mr. Geir Pedersen, focused in his closed briefing to the Security Council last month on the importance of changing the way of dealing in the Constitutional Committee, in addition to healing the rift in International divisions that hinder the Syrian file.



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A Constitution That Protects Us - Ezdina Organization: The Syrian Constitutional Committee.. a double exclusion of Kurds and women
The Syrian Constitutional Committee.. a double exclusion of Kurds and women
A Constitution That Protects Us - Ezdina Organization
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