Crisis in Syria: Now is the Time to Seek Male Allies for Leadership Equality

Dec. 9, 2015, 4:24 p.m.

The crisis in Syria is a hardship for men, women, boys and girls who struggle to subsist amid a brutal conflict with widespread and indiscriminate violence. Men are disappearing from their communities into the fog of war, and boys are preparing to join them. Women and girls are left behind in most cases and are desperate for opportunities to provide for their families and communities, while playing any part they can to end the conflict.

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Women’s Leadership Program, is developing a systematic approach for engaging men to support women in leadership and decision-making roles in political and electoral processes. On November 10, 2015, an IFES delegation traveled to Gaziantep, Turkey to meet with Syrians to discuss male allies for leadership equality.

IFES asked participants in the Male Allies for Leadership Equality (MALE) focus groups and interviews to answer a few questions about gender equality and women's leadership on a scale of “Not Useful” (1) to “Very Useful” (5), which revealed perceptions that were echoed in further detail during discussions.

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