Samar Yazbek – My vision about the women in Syria and the role of Soriyat for Development, or Women Now .
The idea of “Syrian women for human development” SFD, came from the heart of the Revolution, the depth of tragedy and resistance against the oppression of the dictatorship on the one hand and that of religious fundamentalism on the other, when the word became insufficient.
It is of prime importance to forge, within a society that has been eaten up from within for over 50 years, under an oppressive dictatorship which transformed it from a burgeoning state into a society ruled by the military which used force, corruption, nepotism, as well as tribal and confessional affiliations as a means of coercion, leading to the disintegration of civil society.
Women s status which seemed quite advanced in appearance, actually faced many problems, least of which is the huge lacks in the personal law statuses, and now the emergence of jihadist groups that have infiltrated the Revolution, accentuated women’s vulnerability and difficulties, marginalizing her in the political and social spheres. Even though women where among the first to partake in the Revolution, demonstrating and testifying against all the abuses of the Regime, they were imprisoned and raped and killed, they wrote about the Revolution, and worked in the media relief and medical fields
While women were resisting in the back lines of the Revolution, there is now an attempt to eliminate them from political representation as well to impose on them foreign customs imported by armed jihadist group which amounts to a revolution against the revolution they initiated and for which they made huge sacrifices
This where the creation of Syrian Women for Human development became necessary after the dramatic worsening of situation and the deterioration of the fate of women and children on the ground
This initiative wasn’t theoretical or planned as such; it emerged as the result of individual initiatives from the civil society in different areas spreading in different geographical parts of Syria. The experience grew form this dream despite the difficulties, we didn’t have any experience in development or work in civil society. We don’t have trained teams but we persevered especially as we saw the dramatic danger of school interruption entering its third year in a raw, we now have more than 60 % of Syrian children then have interrupted their schooling, so as long as bombardment continues and the destruction of state infrastructures we will still be in great danger which have flagrant consequences which are the appearance of a whole generation which will be illiterate.