There is a deficiency in the Southern area of Syria and especially in Deraa in terms of female reporters’ appearance during the years of the revolution for multiple reasons, despite the fact that women occupied a prestigious place in the beginning of the revolution regarding their activism in civil defense, documenting and reporting the crimes of the Syrian Regime.
In the beginning of the revolution, female activists used nicknames in Social Media to report the violations of El-Assad’s forces that the people of the city were subjected to.
With the continuing violence and the appearance of female media figures on the Syrian scene in most areas, the number of women who worked in the media field in the Deraa area was insignificant and did not really exceed the number of fingers in one’s hand. This is according to the head of the information office in “The Free Gathering of Deree’s Women”, Sarah Al-Hourani.
The Reasons Why Women are Absent in the Media Sector
Al-Hourani, in her interview with Enab Baladi, spoke about the reason behind the lack of female journalists which is “the risks of journalism especially when the journalist or a member of her family get arrested, besides the daily bombings in the liberated areas that caused death or injuries among a large number of journalists”.
The activist did not hide the role of “Social customs in minimizing female media appearance, knowing that reporting requires moving from one place to another”.
ome of the Media were reluctant to work with or encourage female reporters, according to Al-Hourani, pointing out that “Islamic factions do not accept working women altogether”.
A member in “Daraa Martyrs Documentation Office”, Ahmad Al-Awad, considers that “the absence of female reporters in Deraa is due to the militarization of the revolution, which has been dominated by field coverage of the battles, the massacres, bombardments, etc. This is not suitable for females besides the instability that female reporters cannot deal with in the current conditions”.
Al-Awad indicated that “Female activists compensated for their absence in the Media field with working in the field of documentation which requires constant follow-up and long hours of work in documenting the martyrs, the detainees, the wounded, the emigrants and the destruction of the infrastructure which is suitable for the status of female activists in general. Besides, the presence of females in the fields of documentation, especially women detention centers, might encourage them to work and comfortably document their stories”.
Ill-equipped Media Training Sessions
Despite the complications of being a female reporter in Deraa, “The Free Gathering of Deraa’s Women” organized last January Media training sessions for 13 women in collaboration with the network “Aman Syria” in order to discover women’s media work potentials as a first step and then work on refining and rehabilitating them, according to what Al-Hourani said.
The head of the Information Office assured in the gathering that “the sessions lack equipments that could qualify the female reporter. The efforts match with the modest available resources”.
She noted that “the most important outcome of these sessions will be to provide a suitable place and equipments to contribute to the rehabilitation and the appearance of a large number of women to be engaged in the media field”.
Despite the current absence of female reporters in Deraa, their great role in the beginning of the revolution through documentation, photography, transferring equipment, publishing news on Social Medias and communicating with human rights bodies and organizations is no less important.