The role of women in Raqqa and in the whole of northern Syria has changed drastically following their liberation from the terrorist rule of ISIS.
A session took place under the auspices of the Women’s Council in Raqqa to discuss the place of women in Syrian society and more specifically about the role of women through the lens of religion. The importance of such discussions lies in the freedom to talk about the place of women following the totalitarian and terror-filled rule of ISIS in the region.
Women were abused and heavily discriminated against during ISIS rule, as laws were enacted to restrict women in several ways, including clothing, employment and freedom to be in public spaces. Women at the session deliberated over the perversions introduced by ISIS to religion and the false religious bases that the terrorist group manipulated to enforce their misogynistic tendencies onto women in the region.
“This is the first time we are having a dialogue about the relationship between religion and women. This dialogue has been very important since it has been missing in the past. We need to discuss these things especially in light of the recent years of violence, discrimination, murder and marginalisation enforced against women in the name of religion, in the name of ISIS, as a result of its twisting of Islam”, remarked Fatima Muhammad, a member of the relations committee of the Women’s Council.
Under the governance of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, women have begun to take up leadership roles, indeed each political authority is required to be headed by one man and one woman, and they have begun to appear frequently in public spaces.
Several initiatives have been launched in northern Syria to improve the status of women after the liberation of those territories by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which itself contained a women’s unit, the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). Women across the region are being educated in matters of politics and society, giving them the critical capabilities of fighting for their rights in a male-dominated environment.