Target: Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham
Goal: Stop discriminating against women and forcing them to comply with restrictions
Three extremist groups in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan have targeted Syrian refugee women and girls, imposing strict regulations on them that violate their rights. Those women that don’t comply are denied access to health care, education, freedom of movement, work, and even food.
Refugees revealed that the extremists force them to wear headscarves and full-length robes. These groups have also banned jeans, tight fitting clothing, and make up. In certain areas of Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, females are not permitted to attend school, move freely in public, or even work – especially if they do not comply with the dress code. Some women are not allowed to go out in public unless they are accompanied by a male family member, making it extremely difficult for widows to make a living.
These extremist groups are undermining the rights that Syrian women and girls enjoyed in their native country. Now many of them live in fear of getting attacked, and reports claim that some women who don’t follow the dress code are indeed abducted or beaten.
This utter disrespect for womens’ rights must be stopped. Many of the affected refugees are struggling to make a new life, and these violations against their rights do nothing to help them reclaim their lives. Protect them, and demand that the extremist groups stop their discrimination.
Dear Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq, and Sham,
I am writing this letter concerning the many women and girls your groups are discriminating against. I hope you realize that you are violating these women’s rights by forcing them to comply to a dress code so they can conduct daily activities. These women and girls are forced to wear headscarves and full length robes so they will have permission to attend school, get health care, and move around freely.
As refugees, many of these women are struggling to reclaim their old lives and by forcing these restrictions – with harsh punishments if they do not comply – and you are making it harder for them to progress. By forcing them to wear garments that they may not necessarily want to wear, you are violating their rights as a human being. Reports claim that your groups are also abducting these women for not behaving, again another violation against their rights and the law.
I urge you to halt this discrimination, as it does nothing to progress your society or benefit the lives of these women. Lift the restrictions on their dress code and allow them to reconstruct their lives as they see fit under the laws of the country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Henry Ridgwell via Wikimedia