A recent report submitted by the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) denounces the human rights violations endured by the Kurdish population in Syria. In this article we highlight those suffered by Kurdish women, who are discriminated both as a result of their ethnicity and of their gender.
Sources: KHRP, Refugees International and Roj Women’s Association
According to the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, Kurds make up between 15-20% of the 20 million Syrian population, making them the largest ethnic minority group in the country. The majority of Kurdish Syrians live in the North east of the country around the towns of Hasakey and Qamishli. Smaller pockets of Kurds also live in Syria’s two largest cities of Aleppo and Damascus.
Despite totaling such a high percentage of the population an estimated 300,000 Syrian Kurds are stateless. Being stateless means that individuals are denied Syrian citizenship, and classed as foreigners or aliens living in the country of their birth. Except in the province of Al-Hasakah, foreigners may not be employed at government agencies or ministries, or many other highly qualified positions within the country, including state-owned companies. To buy and register a SIM card in Syria you must present your identity documents; documentation which many Kurds lack, thus even owning a mobile phone is often not possible. Individuals registered as foreigners can neither vote in local or national elections, marry Syrian nationals (of which a minority of Kurds are classes), or legally own property or land in Syria.
How do these violations affect Syrian Kurdish women?