From their leadership in securing the recent peace accord in Colombia to their contributions to the 1998 agreement ending 20-plus years of conflict in Northern Ireland, to Liberia and to the Philippines, women have largely been the architects of peace - the kind that at first seemed impossible to find but was still somehow built to last.
If women could make it happen in these other parts of the world, why not try it in Syria? Why are women still not represented at the negotiating table?
We have studied women's contributions to stability around the world, and a new interactive report includes in-depth case studies and an index tracking women's participation in formal roles in peace processes from 1990 to the present. This and other research suggests that women's participation in peace negotiations makes the resulting agreement 64% less likely to fail and 35% more likely to last at least 15 years. The case studies explore how women participate in peace processes and why their inclusion advances security.
Yet despite the overwhelming evidence and urgent need, Syrian women have still been underrepresented throughout the peace process.
Earlier this week marked the deadliest days in the rebel-held areas of Syria in three years.Two-hundred-fifty civilians, including scores of women and children, were killed in two days in government airstrikes and rocket bombardments in Eastern Ghouta, outside Damascus. The attacks follow a recent escalation of violence as Russia and the Syrian government have pushed offensive operations into the suburbs of the besieged capital city; more than 700 people have been killed in the last three months. The UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, estimates the war has ended the lives of over 400,000 people and displaced more than 11 million from their homes.