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Laila Saadi is a Syrian Kurdish human rights activist. She is a founding member in Aso Association, an NGO concerned with defending women rights and fight violence against women in Syria’s northern region. She is also a member in the Syrian women Make peace Forum.
Saadi is currently on a working visit to Lebanon to hold meetings with NGOs in order to convey the voice of Syrian Kurdish women to the world. She gave an exclusive interview to ARA News on the development of her association’s activists:
Is there any activity for your association in Lebanon?
Since I arrived in Beirut, I’m in a constant contact with several associations and human rights organizations. I met representatives of the Norwegian Assembly and Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Violence Victims. I also participated in training sessions and workshops with the Syrian Women make peace Forum.
Did you, as association, prepare qualifying projects (workshops) against violence in Syria or abroad?
Yes, certainly. We have numerous awareness campaigns initiated by the Association in different areas, beside campaigns concerning women awareness in health and human rights, in addition to several seminars about the contribution of women to accomplishing peace through history.
Do you have any activities in the field of practical training or rehabilitation of the “violated” women?
Recently, the Association started a campaign for the “mendicant women”, I’m sorry to use this word, but it is a fact we cannot escape. As many women are exposed to insult and physical violence, a huge number of cases are recorded. However, organizing efficient rehabilitation programs is a forward step that’s under consideration now.
Did you organize any workshops for activities in Lebanon or Turkey?
Yes, as I said earlier, I participated in Lebanon, while in Turkey travelling and security conditions prevent us from participating. We are very interested in Aso Association to achieve an actual liberation for Kurdish women. They will not only make their present, but also their future. Women in our society should play an efficient role on different levels.
What are your current projects?
One of the most important points that we focus on is to work across all areas of al-Jazeera (al-Hasaka Province), north Syria. We should not only stand by the woman as exposed to physical violence, but the woman as a “human being”. Carrying out activities on ground is what we focus on at the moment and is one of the priorities of the Association.
On the other hand, we are trying to build efficient relations with other organizations and associations in the region; now I’m trying to convey the voice of the Kurdish women to the United Nations’ office in Lebanon.
What is the link between”Aso” and “Syrian Women Make peace” Forum?
Aso Association has a joint work with the Forum of Syrian Women Make peace, which in turn also cares about women’s issues. It is important here to note that we in the Association are interested to work together with all organizations and associations concerned with women across Syria and the region.
A final word?
Kurdish women have always tried to maintain their position within the Kurdish community. They are generally respected. However, many individual cases of women rights’ violations remain unnoticed and need publicity and appropriate handling to avoid their occurrence in future. Of course this will take time and lot of efforts, but we need to take the women rights issue seriously and work on finding efficient solutions in the society. Actually, it needs more deep studies, but no doubt that associations and forums have achieved considerable development so far.I hope the Kurdish women and all women around the world would reach the justice and equality that we call for.
Interview by: Zara Seida
Source: ARA News