The war in Syria is effecting men, women, boys and girls in starkly different ways that often reinforce existing gender inequalities - especially among extremely vulnerable people. Throughout the conflict, Syrian men and women have often had to take up negative coping mechanisms to survive and support their families.
Gender-based violence (GBV), domestic violence, sexual harassment and sexual violence have increased across the country, with many women reporting that their husbands are quicker to resort to violence, as the external conflict takes an increasing psychosocial toll within the home. The conflict has led to a vast amount of single female-headed households without a primary breadwinner.
Negative coping mechanisms have increased as a result of depleted resources and eroded social cohesion. Women and children are disproportionately affected by this with rising levels of girls’ early marriage, child labour and youth recruitment into armed groups. Child labour has increased with boys and girls entering into the workforce to help the family survive.
Men also face greater risk of arrest, detention, harassment from the security services, recruitment into armed groups, disappearance and death.
The elderly and those with disabilities, particularly those with limited family support, have a wide range of unmet needs in displacement situations with sporadic service delivery.
This has led to changes in household dynamic, social order and community structure as different members in society take up untraditional roles in society.