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.— Walaa, Release Me Organisation
I am much braver.”
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.— Manal, Start Point
They come to trust me and they trust that I am addressing their real life problems and trying to offer solutions.
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
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.
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
Learn more about WILPF and partner’s work in Syria