‘Kick Them Out’: Syrian Women Tell Europe to Send Men Home to Rebuild Country

A woman sits next to a peddlar's stall in a market in the northeastern Syrian city of Qami

Syrian women are complaining that there are not enough men to rebuild the county, and have told Europe and other Western countries that have absorbed their young men to “kick them out” and send them home.

Journalist at Swedish public broadcaster SVT Johan-Mathias Sommarström travelled to Damascus, Syria, and spoke to some of the students at the University of Damascus, 70 per cent of whom he observed are women.

“Look around, you just see women. The university, on the street, in cafes, just women,” students Safaa and Sheima told Sommarström.

Another student, Lina, also noted the disproportion of the country’s population, shattering the liberal illusion that the migrant waves of 2015 were comprised of women and children fleeing war.

To solve the problem, the young student said that the Syrian government should issue an amnesty to men who left the country to avoid military service so that they can help rebuild the country, pointing the finger at Western nations that took in all the young male Syrians.

“The solution is to kick them out and get them to Syria where they can start building the country again,” said Lina.

The Swedish broadcaster notes that before the conflict started eight years ago, just over four per cent of households in Syria were economically led by women; now, the figure is just over 22 per cent, according to a survey by Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

Some of the young women have seen this as a positive; much like women entering the workforce en masse in the West during the Great War and World War Two, the dearth of men has allowed the position of women to progress in the Muslim country.

“It can actually be a positive development. Previously, it was not accepted for women to work in certain areas, but now society is forced to accept it and I think that is good,” Safaa said.

“In the future, you will see women who repair cars because women have to take traditional men’s jobs to be able to support their families,” she added.

However others, like recent graduate Nabiha, this that some types of work are “not suitable for women.”

Many young women also said they fear not being able to marry and have a family because there are not enough men.

Hurriyet Daily News reported last week that some 300,000 Syrian asylum seekers have left Turkey and returned home. The country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull some 2,000 American troops out of Syria after he declared defeat of Islamic State in the region.

The conflict sparked the mass migration of mostly young men out of Syria to Europe in 2015. In response, the United Nations wrote the world’s first global governance compact on migration.

Two dozen countries rejected the agreement when signed this month, with President Trump saying in September at the UN General Assembly, “Ultimately, the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries [and] make their countries great again.”


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