NGO Platform of CSOs in Northeast Syria Accomplishes Dialogue Sessions on the Situation of Women in NES
The member civil organizations of CSOs Platform in NES accomplished, on last Wednesday, 3 training sessions within the second phase of "Enhancing Participatory Democracy Approach in NES" project, as one of the projects of ASO Center for Consultancy and Strategic Studies.
The sessions were carried out online in accordance with the precautionary measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus pandemic. The dialogue sessions targeted female and male trainees of different age groups, as 19 trainees were from Al-Hasaka, 22 from Deir Ezzor and 21 from Raqqa governorate.
The sessions covered several axes regarding women situation on the political, social, economic and educational levels in NES in general. Imad Ahmi, the project manager of Enhancing Participatory Democracy Approach, said; "the topic of the dialogue sessions were selected according to the demands of the NGOs platform members. The three sessions discussed women situation and challenges they face; thus, we deduced several outputs that may contribute to the effectiveness of women's role more, will enable them to participate in their society and identify them with their milieu issues as a partner in decision-making."
Ahmi also, referred to the fact that "the platform members suggested the necessity of continuing the implementation of such sessions by ASO Center, as well, to highlight women awareness through other methods such as, distributing awareness brochures whether on social media platforms, different media platforms or on ground. This is in order to convey their voices to the greatest possible number of concerned parties, as it might bring about a positive change in the country's interest in general."
According to the participants in the sessions, there has been a lack in women's desire to participate in public affairs for many years. Also, with the complexity of the Syrian scene and security concerns and in light of living in a patriarchal society, some of them have increased their reluctance to engage and participate, especially in politics. However, some of them have acquired more prominent and influential roles in society, through the works and activities that they have implemented, particularly in the fields of civil and media work.
As for the second axis, it focused on the challenges facing women in NES, especially in recent years. Thus, the participants provided their interpretations on this matter by referring to “the lack of women awareness about the importance of exercising their rights and their presence in decision-making centers, institutions and …. etc. Furthermore, the stereotypes made by the society and allocating them to purely traditional social stereotypes, without considering their voices and opinions. Moreover, women's right of inheritance, the problem of early marriage and depriving women from continuing their education."
In the last axis, the participants delivered a set of recommendations and suggestions, as “educating women about the importance of their role and right in participating in public affairs, also educating men about the importance of women's emancipation and their role in society, intensifying dialogue sessions and ensuring women's right to education by the state's institutions. In addition to raising awareness through multiple media platforms about the implications of early marriage and its future harm to society as a whole."
Likewise, the participants indicated that civil society organizations should work to combat customs and traditions hostile to women's rights, which bear discrimination against them through dialogue and awareness sessions. As well as, to pay special attention to the issue of rural and illiterate women, by introducing them to projects that provide them with vocational education such as, sewing and knitting workshops, cosmetic work and other professions that are manual or do not require education for many years, in addition to literacy courses."
The participants finally, provided a set of recommendations to the Self-Administration, including the provision of a good work space for women to enter political work and decision-making centers, in a manner that their presence becomes real and effective in society in general. Not to mention, enabling them economically by providing them with job opportunities in order to enhance their role more equally in their societal milieu.
The dialogue sessions of the project "Enhancing Participatory Democracy Approach in NES," aim to conduct a permanent dialogue between the platform members and to strengthen the civil society organizations' role in highlighting the issues and challenges facing NES people at all levels and proposing appropriate solutions to them.