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Radio plays a very special role in the lives of many women in Syria.

SOURCE: Rozana Radio

We are here sharing three stories with Syrian women using radio to get the needed power in different situations - with different perspectives: one who is engaged in the media, one who got impacted by the media and one who finds her way thorough media.

Nour, a radio presenter under pressure

Nour is getting a lot of pressure from her husband and her close circle because she works in a radio station as presenter where she hosts a programme in support women in the society.

The more Nour’s programme breaks taboos, the more harassing messages and direct talks have been sent to her husband.

“You’re not a real man “, “You let your wife talk about virginity”,” You don’t have any kind of honor”. Those are the kind of the messages that are sent to the husband.

Nour is a woman with a scarf, she lives a very traditional life and is not acting as a rebel. Still, she gets a lot of pressure from the society and from her family based on the concept and problems raised in her programme on the radio.

Rim, using media to break the silence after being raped

Rim is a young woman who got raped in her early teenager. First of all she decided to shut up because she was afraid of society’s judgment of her. Maybe she will never get engaged or be able to marry if somebody knows about her story?

Later she changed her mind and talked on social media about it, and then in the media. She found out that she can’t be with a partner and hide an accident like this. She thinks “It’s a fake life then and I can’t accept to live like this”.

A part of her community tried to convince her to keep silent and make an operation to hide the harm done, re-creating her hymen.

Rim refused and started to reveal it openly, and to advise women faced by the same situation, to talk about it – also to change the conservative Syrian society.

Hiba, finding her way through the media

Hiba is young mother with two kids. She is from an educated segment in society but still, she wasn’t able to decide what to do, when her husband got physically violent. She was listening to a program on Syrian media talking about violence against women. She contacted the host of the programme and asked for legal help in a diaspora country.

The radio host kept following her situation and put her in contact with a lawyer to advise her what to do, to get her rights especially to her children. She talked on the programme, took the advice, asked for a divorce and kept her children with her.

Hiba now is a trainee in that same media house, and she wants to improve herself to be able to ensure that other women also get their voices heard in the media. Women who are lost, and don’t know what to do, can get their way through the media.

This is why we in Radio Rozana keep going. Women are one of the very vulnerable groups, whether in Syria or living outside. Playing this important role in the lives of our women listeners motivates us and gives us direction. Radio Rozana is a Syrian exile community radio station based in Paris, France and Gaziantep, Turkey listened by 9 million persons.

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