SOHR exclusive | Women’s struggle continues in Syria, despite obstacles and unjust laws
Despite injustice, oppression and scourges of the devastating war in Syria, many women managed to make tremendous achievements, after having been able to cope with slavery of which women have suffered for decades, unjust and obsolete traditions and brutal torture and inhumane treatment in prisons practiced by all warring parties.
As many Syrians have managed to immigrate to other countries respecting people’s rights to obtain peace, enjoy freedom and decent standards of living and play an effective role in society, several women have been rewarded for their achievements around the world. In addition, Syrian women have proved that they have been effective and influential members in different fields, despite marginalisation which they have struggled with for years.
There are several examples of Syrian women who have proved that feminist struggle is a major pillar of progress any society. This type of struggle plays out in favour of freedom and dignity of human, relying on the essential role of women to raise children in order to achieve progress and rebuild their country.
One example, among many, was Marwa Malhis who has recently obtained PhD from Coburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany, for her research which needed several years to complete. The 36-year-old Syrian doctor has reached a cure for Alzheiymer, as she has discovered an active composition preventing a protein, which causes this disease, from being accumulate inside the brain. In addition, Dr. Marwa, who is from Aleppo, has been granted a patent certificate for reaching the first effective medication for patients with Alzheiymer. Mrs. Malhis was honoured by the university and the German government, where the Syrian doctor summarised her achievement in a single sentence, saying “it is beautiful to do an important thing.” She also promised to continue her efforts to discover a cure for diseases which have no remedy.
Despite the scourges of the war which have riddled them, Syrian women have coped with all challenges facing them and trying to dampen their spirits and determination. Many women have become the breadwinners of their families and struggled to get their lawful rights with the aim of taking part in reaching a democracy and securing stability in their homeland.
It is common knowledge now that the rate of crimes, including murders and violence, against women has dramatically escalated, while the policy of escaping accountability, in light of the current devastating war and the jungle law, has encouraged perpetrators to keep up with their crimes.
On the other hand, crimes of social and sexual-based violence have harmed Syrian women, both physically and mentally, preventing them from obtaining their rights and enjoying their freedom, which violates the Declaration by United Nations regarding elimination of violence practiced against women.
Aggressive practices against women, who are mistreated in “oriental” countries and considered as if they are second-class citizens, can be countered by holding accountable everyone practicing violence against women according to local and international laws.
Despite all campaigns to impede amendments or cancellation of unjust laws undervaluing women, the feminist movement is still carrying on with its struggle to change the pejorative attitude towards women, which is based on obsolete traditions aiming at shrinking the role of women and underestimating their stances under predominant householders and tyrannical and corrupt authorities.
Syrian women have been continuing their battle against such obsolete traditions in order to defend their rights to participate in all fields and contribute to establish a nation ensuring freedom and dignity for all people without discrimination.