Celebrating Feminists’ Voices, Inspiring Global Peace



‘Her Road to Justice’: Video Series Celebrates Syrian Women Human Rights Activists

Seeking to document Syrian women human rights activist’s experiences, struggles, and challenges in advocating and supporting inclusive justice, WILPF’ Syria partner, Dawlaty, has launched “Her Road to Justice” video series profiling just a few of these remarkable Syrian Women.

Collage photo of five Syrian Women Human Rights Activists
Image credit: WILPF
WILPF International Secretariat
16 August 2021

Between political detention, forced displacement, social stigma, and countless physical and emotional losses, Syrian women have been experiencing various kinds of injustices and discrimination for years. However, whenever the stories and testimonies of these resilient women see the light, they illustrate that they have rather come out stronger, and determined to help create a just world for themselves and for all women suffering from the hurdles of conflict and war.

Seeking to document Syrian women human rights activist’s experiences, struggles, and challenges in advocating and supporting inclusive justice, WILPF’ Syria partner, Dawlaty, has launched “Her Road to Justice” video series profiling just a few of these remarkable Syrian Women.

The series, produced by our Syria partners Dawlaty, and supported by WILPF, dives into the stories of five inspirational Syrian women, who share moments and experiences that shaped their sense of gender awareness and their understanding of justice to become the leaders they are today.

With this video series, Dawlaty seeks to celebrate the efforts of Syrian women human rights activists, and to raise awareness about the necessity to integrate gender-sensitive perspectives into justice mechanisms and services.

Walaa: From a political prisoner to an advocate for justice

After years in detention because of her humanitarian work in Syria, Walaa came out to find a paralysing social stigma facing former women detainees.

She shares how she has become determined to change this unfair reality by founding Release Me.

Release me is a non-profit organisation that works with women who were formerly detained to engage them in civil peace training, and provide opportunities and spaces for them to organise and be active in their communities.

“Walaa today is different from who she was four years ago.
I am much braver.”

— Walaa, Release Me Organisation

Her Road To Justice Video Series: Walaa's Story from Dawlaty on Vimeo.

Manal: Journey of a displaced woman

Forced to leave her home at Homs after years of constant fear under siege, Manal found a lifeline in her work with Start Point in Idlib.

Dreaming of a day when violence against women will stop and when all women can get justice, she now supports survivors of sexual violence by offering them art therapy workshops.

“When the team and I perform a play, women react with tears.
They come to trust me and they trust that I am addressing their real life problems and trying to offer solutions.

— Manal, Start Point

Watch Manal’s story

Thuraya: Turning tragedy into a passion

In Adra Prison, Thuraya saw a lot of the injustices and discrimination facing women. She realised that justice for women can only be achieved by their own hands.

Today, Thuraya is pursuing this passion by working with Release Me on the economic empowerment of former women detainees and survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

Thuraya and her colleagues seek to create a safe environment for women who have gone through detention or domestic abuse, one where they can recover, regain their strength, and learn new skills to become socially and financially independent.

“We can’t achieve any of the Syrian revolution’s goals, if the conditions of Syrian women don’t change.”

— Thuraya, Release Me

Watch Thuraya’s story

Nada: Building a road to justice

After witnessing the 1982 Hama massacre at 17 years old, Nada developed a strong passion for supporting women subjected to violence.

Today, she is determined to never stand helpless in the face of injustices.

Nada works on protecting the rights of working women through the Woman Empowerment Capacity and Achievement Network – WECAN Net.

“My ambition for the network is to become a free working women union, gathering Syrian women around the world. It would protect their rights, and through it they could express their demands … to get justice.”

— Nada, WECAN Net.

Watch Nada’s story

YouTube video

Hanadi: A story of tragic loss and resilience

Hanadi’s vision for justice has been shaped by a tragic loss, painful injuries, and a longstanding battle against patriarchy.

At the beginning of the war in 2012, Hanady was badly injured. A shrapnel went through her to her baby inside her. She lost her baby daughter and has had to undertake five surgeries until this day to recover from her injuries. But this indescribable tragedy has not stopped her from fighting for justice.

Justice and peace for Hanadi are always interconnected; and neither can be achieved without women’s participation and leadership.

“I decided to adapt to reality and to become stronger. I went back to studying and volunteered with local organisations that provide education and entertainment for children. That made me realise that there is a strong need to work on the development of women.”

— Hanadi Alloush

Watch Hanadi’s story

Learn more about WILPF and partner’s work in Syria

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WILPF International Secretariat

WILPF International Secretariat, with offices in Geneva and New York, liaises with the International Board and the National Sections and Groups for the implementation of WILPF International Programme, resolutions and policies as adopted by the International Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat also provides support in areas of advocacy, communications, and financial operations.

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Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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