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Opinion Pieces Discuss Need To Protect Women, Children In Syrian Crisis, Involve Women In Peace Talks

Project Syndicate: A Breakthrough for Child Refugees?
Gordon Brown, U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education and chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity

“Buried in the declaration from the just-completed fourth United Nations’ Syria Pledging Conference in London is a little publicized but important promise: by next year, every Syrian refugee child will be offered a place in school. … Now that education for Syria’s child refugees has been recognized as a responsibility of the humanitarian aid system, we have to find the means to finance it. … At the epicenter of the world’s biggest refugee crisis, we must take another step forward, by establishing what I call the HOPE fund: The Humanitarian Operation for the Provision of Education in Emergencies, the first permanent fund guaranteeing education in conflict zones. … If we can succeed in one of the most war-ravaged regions of the world, progress elsewhere would become much more likely. … [L]et us be the first generation to put every child in school” (2/5).

The Guardian: The Syria peace talks would have a better chance with one key addition: women
Sabrina Hersi Issa, CEO of Be Bold Media, co-founder of End Famine, and director of Survivor Fund, and Liz Drew, independent consultant

“…While UNSCR 2254 — the Security Council resolution which set the framework for the [Syrian peace] talks — calls for the full participation of Syrian women in the newest roadmap for peace, the mechanisms to achieve this remain undeveloped. … To design a peace process where both men and women’s lives are valued equally, we must stop siloing the contributions of Syrian women and learn from those engaged on the ground. … The Women, Peace, and Security agenda is based on the simple premise that peace is more likely to prevail and hold if women are fully involved in building it. … Syria offers a vivid reminder of how we are falling short of our commitment. Gender-sensitive humanitarian response and peace-building will only result from deliberate planning and dedicated personnel holding us all to account…” (2/5).

Devex: Appeal to protect the health and rights of Syrian women and girls
Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund

“…In every emergency, the risks to women and girls increase as access to health services decline. … As donors gather in London, I appeal to them to pay increased attention to the urgent needs and rights of women and adolescent girls from Syria. … The health, rights, and dignity of women and adolescents should not be treated as an afterthought in humanitarian action. Evidence points to the urgent need for a stronger response. … Protecting the rights of women and young people and putting an end to gender-based violence is everyone’s responsibility. Ensuring women and girls have access to the kind of medical and psychological care and services they need is not a luxury. Neither is giving young people the possibility to build a future. More often than not, these interventions are lifesaving” (2/4).

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