Outcomes of the second session entitled "Women are the core of community’s development"

Ezdina Organization held its second dialogue session on 28.09.2020 in its office in the city of Qamishlo/Qamishli, under the title “Women are the core of community's development”, the session lasted for 6 hours, from 10:00 to 16:00.


The lecturers
The session was moderated by both civil society activist Khawla Ibrahim and Lava Sharro.

The Participants
The session was attended by 9 activist women, media media workers in the societies of northeastern Syria:
  • Field coordinator of "Ta'a Marbouta" Organization, Nazdar Masoud Mohammed.
  • The administrator at "Jan" Foundation, Zakiya Ali.
  • The coordinator of "Pel" Organization, Najwa Hussein Muhammad.
  • The administrator in the Peace Leaders Network and a member of the Coordination Council of Women In northeastern Syria, Ster Bashar Qassem.
  • Member of the Muslim Women Foundation, Abir Ali Shety.
  • Nihal Youssef, a Kurdish language school teacher.
  • Lina Najari, feminist activist.
  • Member of the Erido Organization for Civil Society, Eliyana Saliba.
  • Sherin Kousa, member of the Interfaith Office.

Age groups
The session was attended by people of different age groups.


Participants national background
A group of women from different components in the region participated in the session, "Arab, Kurd, Syriac".



Cities of Participants
Residents of the following cities participated in the second session: Qamishlo/Qamishli, Hasakah, Amuda, Afrin, Tirbe Spiyê/Al-Qahtaniye.

Session's most important topics
  • Evaluating the role of women, in society in general and in northeastern Syria in particular.
  • How effective is women's participation in decision-making positions.
  • The obstacles and problems facing women (political - social - religious - educational).
  • Bad stereotypes towards women (customs and traditions - media - the role of civil society organizations - religious institutions).
  • Solutions and initiatives to enhance women's participation in the advancement of the complex.
The session started by asking the participants about their expectations about the session, answers were as follows:
  • Women's problems and the role of clerics in solving them.
  • The extent of women's effectiveness in developing society in northeastern Syria.
  • The woman is the basis of society regardless of how society views her.
  • The position of women and the peoples' perception of Muslim women.
  • The position of women before Islam and their position after Islam and hatred between religions.
  • The stereotypical roles of women and the current roles of women and the comparison between them.
  • The opportunities women have obtained to represent society.
  • Highlighting women's struggle and focusing on Yazidi women.
  • Laws that protect women.

Participants were asked about the role of women in Syrian society in general, in northeastern Syria in particular:

  • The role of women has evolved in the last ten years, as they initially had a shy but effective role, especially Kurdish women, as they encouraged other women - Civil society's focus on the role of women to educate and empower women - Enact laws to deter violence against women - Breaking the stereotypes of customs and traditions.
  • Different customs and traditions have affected women's behavior, as some women do not make decisions without returning to the man as the owner of power. In recent years, there have been opportunities for women to express themselves, hold positions and participate in decision-making positions.
  • The roles that women previously played were either housework or a job in an institution, but now and after the crisis, women have a more effective role in society, as women in northeastern Syria compared with women inside Syria were a weak link governed by customs and traditions, and the change was noticed after the crisis as women have a greater role in developing society.
  • Women developed more after the Syrian crisis, and this was helped by economic conditions, in particular in the absence of men.

Do women reach leadership positions and decision-making centers?
  • In the leadership positions, women took a positive and big role, as we see women actively speaking on behalf of Northeastern Syria.
  • As for political parties, women have not reached the required status, as women need to take more serious steps.
  • Support for women by associations and civil society institutions, an example of this is attending a participant belongs to "Ta'a Marbouta" Association working on women's support issues.
  • In the fields of working with children, most of the staff were women, as it was noticed that women are better able to run such activities because they are mainly mothers.
  • Sometimes women play a role in marginalizing themselves and need training in their field of work, and men have to accept training women as partners in decision-making positions.
  • The status of women in the field of education as they are educators, so we see in the field of teaching that the largest number are women.
  • One of the roles that we do not see women working inside is the judiciary role and the presidency.

The biggest obstacles that women face in the region, where the participants had divided it into three groups:

The first group
Political: Eastern society does not accept women's participation in politics - the lack of a financial resource for women to allow men to advance it - society does not allow women to acquire sensitive positions.

Customs and traditions: the distribution of roles between men and women leads to the absence of women in decision-making positions.

Social: Marriage of minors for fear of spinsterhood - violence against women - male patriarchy.

Religious: extremism in the field of religion - traveling with a (Mahram: Man) - temporary marriage, for example (cases of pleasure marriage in Al-Hol camps).

Educational: Preventing girls from learning because of customs and traditions - poverty contributes to girls not completing their studies - Extremist religious ideas - Weak educational potential in some areas.

The second group
Political: the prevailing male culture that makes political work the preserve of men - the man’s leadership view and giving him the right to make decisions.

Social: The inherited customs and traditions that restrict the work of women at home.

Religious: Religious legislation (Men are the guardians of women) - Personal status laws are derived from Islamic legislation with no regard for the rights of women, religions and other sects - Christianity (having an issue called a fake grandfather who is a mother's father).

Educational: Stereotypical images of women in educational curricula (schools contain curricula that are differentiated on the basis of gender and focus on women working at home and men outside it within the curricula).

Political: Women participate in decision-making positions in northeastern Syria - Active political parties in northeastern Syria significantly marginalize the role of women, as decisions are made by men without even listening to the woman's opinion - The lack of involvement of women in political issues, especially political analysis, where women face the problem of stereotypes that women are held accountable for their decisions and mistakes are generalized to all women.

Social: Scarcity of a man’s understanding of the necessity of helping a woman with housework and arranging married life - The financial condition of a woman, if it is stable, no one can interfere with her privacy, as turning a blind eye to giving women her right to inheritance contributes to disregarding women's rights - External interventions in personal life (allowing the family and relatives to intervene in the field of interaction with the wife, sister or daughter) - Interpretation of Islamic law according to desires, especially the belittling of women - Laws derived from legislative laws (invoking religion in terms of women's work and not mixing with men)

Education: The restriction of the educational desires of the girl to the whims of the family or the father in particular.


Participants discussed the bad stereotypes towards women, and were divided into three groups to answer the role of the following issues: (customs and traditions - media - civil society organizations - religious institutions), the answers were as follows:

The first group
Customs and traditions: woman should learn but not rise to the level of decision-making like a man.
Economically independent to help with expense only, not in a belief in sharing.
Media: It tends to be open about defining the role of women in a certain pattern.
Civil society: job opportunities exist with red lines for women to work (guard - driver - logistical).
Religious institutions: restricted to males (Ministry of Endowments - Mosques - Imams).

The second group
customs and traditions: Restricting relations within the framework of relatives and work only, with exposure to accountability in the event of a person outside the field of work
Violence of women against women in social situations (the mother's violence against a girl for any mistake or behavior resulting from ignorance).
Media: It makes women oppressed, focuses on weaknesses and does not focus on the achievements and successes of women.
Linking women's success to masculinity.
The role of soap operas that present women as a physical image and present beauty standards that affect women

The third group
Customs and traditions: Limiting the role of women to only the house.
Media: Portraying women is most often in secondary matters.
Imitation of Western society in series and programs that are far from the culture of the local community.
Civil society organizations: differentiating between men and women in competencies.
Religious Institutions: The Woman's Voice is (Awrah: Shame).
Discrimination in mental abilities between a man and a woman (such as testimony and inheritance) - forcing woman to wear hijab.


Solutions (Session Outcomes)

The first group
  • Encouraging the opening of special vocational centers for women to support them economically.
  • Sessions to educate women about their rights, especially in closed societies.
  • Focusing on the youth group and holding dialogues to increase their awareness of the role of women.
  • Opening literacy centers.
The second group
  • Literacy programs.
  • Educating women about the laws that protect their rights and duties.
  • Work to secure women's economic independence, as poverty is an obstacle to women's empowerment.
The third group
  • Changing the stereotypical image of women in educational curricula.
  • Empowering women economically.
  • Enacting laws that protect women and their being in parallel with spreading societal awareness.

The following points are included in the larger group
  • Conducting awareness sessions for an association of all groups (males and females).
  • Educating youth and adolescents (females and males), distribution of women and gender equality.
  • Establishing private economic projects.
  • Focusing on the media to present success stories to women.

Post Evaluation
How would you rate the performance of the lecturers?
Acceptable - good - very good

How would you rate the logistical matters at Ezdina office related to the session of services and others?
Acceptable - good - very good


Did you gain any information in the dialogue session, that would increase your knowledge?
Yes - No


COMMENTS

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Dialogue Sessions,11,First dialogue session,15,First Seminar,9,Fourth Seminar,17,Introductory Booklet,1,Media,26,Multimedia,24,Opening,27,Outputs,8,Pictures library,3,Second Dialogue Session,11,Second Seminar,5,Seminars,37,Third Dialogue Session,13,Third Seminar,7,Various activities,7,Video,20,
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Hope Project - Ezdina Organization: Outcomes of the second session entitled "Women are the core of community’s development"
Outcomes of the second session entitled "Women are the core of community’s development"
Ezdina Organization held its second dialogue session on 28.09.2020 in its office in the city of Qamishlo/Qamishli, under the title “Women are the core
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Hope Project - Ezdina Organization
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