Syrian women want their men back from the countries to which they fled
The purported "compassion" Angela Merkel insisted on for Syrian refugees is not being appreciated back home in Syria. When civil war came to Syria, most of those who fled the violence were military-age males, and they left their women behind to fend for themselves. "Women and children first" apparently does not translate smoothly into Arabic. When Angela Merkel led the E.U. into offering refuge for these young males who abandoned their females, she not only opened the door to a new wave of rapes, thefts, and other crime by men taught to despise the decadence of the infidels, but also abetted a demographic catastrophe for Syria.
Sweden came in for its share of mass migration of Syrian males, and a correspondent for Swedish Radio has visited Syria to explore the impact of the mass male departure on the women they left behind. A Google Translate version of the article by Johan-Mathias Sommarström (hat tip: Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit) is revealing of the complex unintended consequences of what at first looked like compassion:
Lots of young men have fled from Syria – some when the war came too close or because they were opposition and afraid to be arrested but many to escape the military service and be sent out in the war. Other young men are just in the war and many, no one knows how many, have been killed.
- The really young generation is still there and the old one, but the young men have died or left Syria says Lina.
She regrets the shortage from many perspectives, and many young women will be forced to go unmarried, there are not men so it is enough and moreover it will be more difficult with the reconstruction. She believes that young men are needed for the heavy construction work when streets and buildings are to be rebuilt.
She wants the government to issue a permanent amnesty. Those who fled to avoid having to do military service should come back if they help build the country and she wants other countries to send home the Syrians.
- The solution is to kick them out and get them to Syria where they can start building the country again says Lina.
Wars frequently have a serious unintended demographic impact. If the Syrian males remain welcome in the countries where they sought refuge, Syria's population will decline even more than mere casualties – bad as they have been – would indicate.
As was the case when millions of American males were mobilized to fight World War II, the women they left behind found new occupations open to them. The seeds of the feminist movement in America were planted by the women who stepped up to work in defense plants and elsewhere, in order to keep the economy running. They discovered that they were perfectly capable, and many enjoyed the extra money and respect that outside work brought them. Of course, they did not work in a society dominated by sharia, which relegates women to an inferior status. Nonetheless:
The lack of young men has also meant that women have entered jobs that have traditionally been dominated by men. In Damascus, the city has for the first time ever employed three female drivers, for example.
"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," says Safaa.
- 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, she says.
However, such views are far from universal:
But others just think the other way around.
- No, I think it's bad. This type of work is not suitable for women, says Nabiha, who also recently graduated from the University of Damascus.
Syrian refugees in Germany in 2015 (CBS News screen grab).
Repatriation of Syrian male refugees ought to be a priority as soon as the civil war winds down, as it may well be doing in the face of the apparent victory of Russia-backed forces of Assad. That is not likely to go smoothly, though. But for the good of host countries as well as Syria, it is the right way to go. It is not too soon to begin planning the mass repatriation.