This report profiles 17 Syrian women, now refugees from their country, which continues to be ravaged by conflict. Their experiences reflect the various roles that women, particularly those opposed to the government or living in areas that came under government attack, have taken on as political activists, caregivers, humanitarians, and providers, as well as the particular ways in which the conflict impacts women.
Some of the women profiled in this report have long histories of activism while others began participating politically only after the beginning of uprisings against the Syrian government. Some were targeted or arbitrarily detained for their work, such as Jelnar, 27, who used her pharmaceutical credentials to smuggle medications between neighborhoods. Several of them experienced torture, sexual assault, physical abuse, or harassment as a direct result of their activism, like Layal, 21, who was detained by government forces for assisting the internally displaced. Others became household heads following their husbands' arbitrary detention or death, such as Zeinab, 42, who lost her husband and son in separate incidents at the hands of government forces. Some suffered injury themselves, like Aisha, 45, who was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet.