Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

EVENT - HRC 41 - The Impact of Sexual and Gender Based Violence on Political Participation

20/06/2019 - 00:00

HRC 41 - The Impact of Sexual and Gender Based Violence on Political Participation 03.07.2019, 2.00 PM Room XXVII, Palais Des Nations, Geneva

In view of the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, EuroMed Feminist Initiative and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations would like to invite you to a panel discussion on the Impact of Sexual and Gender Based Violence on Political Participation.

In time of conflict, women are particularly targeted by multiple forms of gender-based violence and discriminations, including sexual exploitation and tactics to humiliate and dominate. The United Nations have recognised sexual violence as a weapon of war in the UNSCR 1820. The Research “Sexual and Gender-based Violence and its impact on the Political Participation of Syrian Women”, written by Ms Joumana Seif and Ms Wejdan Nassif, sheds light on how sexual violence against women was used as a political strategy by Assad regime to silence women and all forms of opposition. According to the report, SGBV was among the major reasons that dissuaded Syrian women and prevented them from participating in political, economic and social life, together with economic dependency.

The deliberate intimidation of the whole Syrian Society and particularly of women, has been a means to hamper the political and civic participation for years. However, the uprising for freedom, social and political change opened a door for women, where they have acquired unaccustomed economic and social leadership roles. They organized during the uprising and pushed for social and political participation. Safeguarding and enhancing women’s political participation is a priority now as post-conflict countries are more prone to violence against women in politics to impede them from raising their voice and defending human rights. The panel will discuss effective strategies to fight SGBV and to strengthen women political participation, putting an end to the cycle of repression.


Palais des Nations
Rue de la Paix

1204 Geneva