By Sabiha Khalil*
There is no doubt that calls for a Syrian peace process prior to Geneva 2, the international conference on the settlement of the conflict in Syria, created on-going debates among all opposition groups. What is significant about Geneva 2, however, is that some women’s groups are now participating in the debates.
Over the past month the topic of participating in the process was the most controversial among women’s groups. Several points of view emerged, three of which I will discuss here. The first refuses – on principle – to sit for negotiations while Syrian President Assad remains in power. His removal, to them, is a precondition to start any peace process. The second view sees that there may be some kind of participation by women along with opposition groups to strengthen the revolution’s side. The third view sees that women’s participation was basic and essential, and that it should not necessarily be attached to the opposition, since that opposition itself was not united in most major issues except in the denial of women’s rights. Continue reading