Nextep organization held a focused discussion session on the issue of increased homicides against women in northeastern Syria. The session was held on Oct. 16, 2021 in the organization’s HQ in the city of Qamishli.
The session was attended by 11 people including civil activists, muslim clerics, jurists, media professionals and others.
The session included several aspects to analyze the women’s homicide issue, including laws, media, civil society organizations, society leaders and religious norms, whether they limit or contribute to this phenomena.
The participants presented several reasons for this kind of crimes, including the society’s masculine mentality – which is supported by the tribal norms – the outbreak of the syrian war and what has followed of psychological stress, the fail of early marriage institutions, the supporting Syrian laws for these “n the name of honor” crimes’ perpetrators by alleviating their sentences, the deteriorating economic situation and the lack of women’s rights awareness.
As for the laws’ role in deterring these crimes’ perpetrators, the participants saw that laws can’t be enforced completely, due to the existence of different areas of control in Syria which results in inability to prosecute criminals. Despite the fact that the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria’s laws are more stringent than the Syrian government’s laws, the tribal and religious norms are still the most dominant in the society’s mentality. The participants also confirmed that community awareness must be spread and stringent deterring laws must be enforced.
The opinions focused on the necessity of activating civil society organizations’ role in regards to sensitizing the community with all its segments in cooperation with community leaders and clerics(Christians/Muslims), in order to spread positive society norms and ideas, that would eliminate the masculine mentality and the inferior look toward women. The attendees also noted that the media and media professionals don’t do their job adequately, as their coverage mostly focus on how did the murder happen without highlighting the reasons behind it and how to stop it.
With regard to the solutions for this dilemma, the session has gotten out with a set of recommendations, like the necessity of working on community awareness; ending the influence of customs, traditions and societal norms that consolidate violence against women; making awareness sessions for the countryside; holding public seminars to reach the biggest possible number of people and making effort to publicize women’s rights in all community segments.
Nextep organization is holding a series of dialogue sessions as part of its project ”We dialogue” which aims to discuss different societal issues, in order to reach solutions for it.