The Syrian Civil war started as a nonviolent uprising in 2011 but today it has become a full-fledged civil war. Since its beginning over a millions of people have been forced to flee their homes, over a million people have been injured, and 470,000 people have been killed.
But how did it all begin? Assad came to power in 2000 after the death of his father. No stranger to violence, Assad continued his fathers strict authoritarian ways. In order to ensure that he has no real political threats Assad has tortured and killed all real political opponents during his residency. To add, a high unemployment rate, terrible economy, and rampant corruption have frustrated the people and made them feel revengeful against their government. In addition while most Syrians are Sunni Muslims the government was dominated by Shiites further isolating the people from the government. While these other factors contributed to the start of the war, one of the main catalysts was the Arab Spring. In 2011 multiple political and economic protest broke out in Egypt and Tunisia. These revolts were later named the “Arab Spring.” Inspired by these pro-democracy protests, Syrian activists started their own.
This complex and disastrous situation has resulted in a massive humanitarian and refugee crisis. It is estimated that 13.1 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance with more than 3 million of these people living in isolated areas. More than 5.6 million people have fled while another 6.1 million have been displaced because of the war. While many people’s lives have drastically changed due to the war, one of the main groups that have disproportionately suffered are females.
While life before the war was not perfect it was far better than after it. Syrian women were able to travel abroad if granted permission and they were a part of society outside the home. However, ever since the war began these freedoms are virtually gone. Syrian women are strictly forbidden to go out in public without a male relatives. This means that they are unable to leave the dangerous area to hide from the war and in many places women are prohibited from getting an education or working outside them home. This leaves women trapped in their own homes.
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Wong, Kristine. “5 Ways Life Has Become Intolerable for This Country's Women.” TakePart, Participant Media, 27 Jan. 2014, www.takepart.com/article/2014/01/24/women-syria.