Alia Turki Al-Rabeo
Let’s discuss today challenges and barriers that prevent me from changing my community. The laws here pose the biggest challenge for female folk, which always hang over our heads!
For example, the nationality law forbids a woman from transferring citizenship to her off-springs, if she ignores ‘handsome’, ‘chauvinist’ Syrian males and opts for a foreigner.The mom’s crime of choosing a non-Syrian partner becomes a sentence for her kids who grow up without rights, whatever form of these exists here anyway. Some organizations have been fruitlessly struggling for such rights over the last many years.
The draft of personal statues law enacted last year had failed to resolve major problematic issue of a girl’s consent and age for marriage.
This year, over 1,200 defiant veiled females have been transferred from teaching assignments to administrative posts while for an uncounted number doors of higher education has been shut.
Every year, at least 100 women die in honor crimes as both society and laws stand against victims. The perpetrator is seen as a hero while the law offer six months of protective custody in a jail.
Walking out of wedlock is a man’s call. He can choose the timing and he does not even have to visit the court too.
Women never run out of personal story of sexual harassment while most male listeners would blame women for provoking such comments from the opposite gender. Families expect their girls to cover themselves well and avoid looking pretty and smart. On the contrary, this social evil has little to do with how a girl dresses up. Females are human beings as much as men are. They need respect instead of being judged as objects of beauty and pleasure.
Owing to such wide scale social insecurity, parents pressurize their daughters to marry early. Husband is seen as a guarantee of her security. This is a mere tip of the ice-berg as many problems are never discussed.
As a journalist, I strive to find solutions and discuss the un-discussed. I try to make my voice heard in many ways but I fail again and again. I lose because I am alone, an individual instead of a group.
Despite fear of the state agents, we need to be more organized to empower half of the Syrian population while trying to train their male counterparts for good social behaviour. In this male-dominated society, women have little knowledge of their rights as much of harassment is acceptable due to sheer ignorance, even amongst the educated ones.
We need to hold hands of other women around the world who can help the less empowered by even sharing their experiences. Besides, women have to be more organized not only to understand their rights well but also to change laws and traditions. Knowledge of rights and sense of community can create hope of better future, a direly needed asset.
I am one of those privileged women who could find her way in World Pulse Web 2.0, a virtual gather of over 500 women listening to each other to improve their conditions. For me, it is more exciting as I get the chance to shed light on struggle of the Syrian women in this limited but useful cyber space.
Let’s accept it that peace for women is only possible when all the female folk around the world enjoys the same rights and freedom.