Wed 14 Nov 2018

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“Sahabat Watan”: Meets to Enhance Woman’s Role in Rural Aleppo

The founding conference of “Sahabat Watan” Assembly at the village of Dabiq – September 11, 2018 (Enab Baladi)  

The founding conference of “Sahabat Watan” Assembly at the village of Dabiq – September 11, 2018 (Enab Baladi)  

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In the eastern and northern rural parts of Aleppo, a group of women have created a gathering which seeks women empowerment at an intellectual, cultural and economic level.

Under the title “Sahabat Watan” (A Homeland’s Cloud), the women gathering have conducted their union’s founding conference on September 11 in the village of Dabiq, the north-eastern countryside of Aleppo.

The event was attended by 115 women, some of whom are originally from the area, in addition to the ones displaced from other areas.

Thuraya al-Hadi, the director of the assembly, told Enab Baladi that it aims to change the reality of women in the Syrian society and advancing their active role in its revival.

The gathering will offer the targeted women vocational courses as to empower them in different fields, on top of which are sewing and hairdressing, in addition to other professions.

Thuraya spoke of the importance of organizations vocational training courses for Syrian women, starting from the idea that women have became breadwinners after they lost either a husband, a father or a son.

As a woman rights’ activist, she calls for the formation of similar assemblies and starting vocational projects that support their social role.

“The union will focus on social, educational and cultural activities, away from politics and militarization,” she added.

Ethnic and Area-Related Diversity

According to its director, the “Sahabat Watan” project is distinct for incubating women from the different social segments in the northern and eastern rural Aleppo; Arab, Kurdish and Turkmens chose to be part of the project, in addition to women from Idlib, Aleppo, Homs and Eastern Ghouta, which, as she put it, ensure that the voice of the Syrian women is heard in a greater manner.

For her turn, Fatima al-Hassan, the union’s spokeswomen, said that the founding conference focused on the necessity of allowing the women the freedom needed for them as to prove their active social role, telling Enab Baladi that the conference’s attendees pointed out to several problems and difficulties and demanded their right to education, qualification and work.

The number of widows in Syria is on the rise as a result of the war’s death toll, which put women face to face with many challenges, the most prominent of which is the need to fend for their children and families, which made them more liable to exploitation at the labor market that utilizes their energy for cheap wages.

The civil society organizations active in Northern Syria are seeking to organize many projects that target the rehabilitation of women both educationally and vocationally as to prepare them to be part of the developmental process and to sharpen their skills in a manner that equip them to get involved in the labor market, as well as generating economic opportunities that guarantee them a source of income.

The city of Maarrat al-Nu’man, Idlib governorate, hosted the founding conference of the “Syrian Women Gathering” in May 2017, in an attempt at bringing together the women-related organizations functioning in Northern Syria and unifying their efforts in the field of women support.

The conference then set a mechanism for an on-ground start, which was the need to move away from organizational representation of women alone, “for today we need to represent the whole society and to form an image of it,” according the “Syrian Women Gathering” ‘s conference’s statement.

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