A few days ago a new Syrian website called “Womanish Prospects” was launched under supervision of “Syrian Women’s League” which is a subordinate organization of the Syrian Communist Party. But the Syrian Communist Party denied through their journal “AL-Noor” to have any relationship with the former website, “There is no relationship between Syrian Women’s League and the website called “Womanish Prospects” including any articles may be published on this site”.

This accident emphasize on an old problem we presented many times before and Syrian Women’s League administrative not only refused to admit the problem but also accused us of working to deform their work by focusing on facts that everyone knows.
The website identifies “Syrian Women’s League” as “Democratic Organization for women was established in 1948 as (Syrian Women’s League for protecting childhood and motherhood), The organization was licensed to formally operate under the decision of the ministry of social affairs and employment, No. 5424 date 11/5/1957 and the licensed canceled by a presidential decree issued in the beginning of Syrian – Egyptian unity in 1958 and commanded  of disbands all before-community official parties and organizations”.
But the identification itself ignores the fact that the Syrian Women’s League from the establishment time till now is a subordinate of the Syrian Communist Party. And the fact is that the Syrian Women’s League Secretarial who has led the league for 14 years tries to take advantages of being the womanish organization inside the Syrian Communist Party which is a member in The “National Progressive Front”, these advantages include protection for the league inside Syria. But in the same time the league ignores the relationship with the Syrian Communist Party in any activity or foreign relation to claims that it is an independent organization which does not belong to any party.
We have always criticized about this allegation because it contrasts with the most simplest concepts of the civil society, and we also said that neither the structural and organizational relationship between the league, and the Syrian Communist Party nor the full independency from Syrian Communist Party do neither detract from the prestige of the league nor change the nature of the league, but keeping the situation ambiguous and capable of being exploited is what making it very hard to evaluate how much civil the league is.
Anyway, after the clearance from Syrian Communist Party it is clear that the website does not represent the “Syrian Women’s League” but the Syrian Women’s League Secretarial still needs to take the responsibility of explaining the relationship with the Syrian Communist Party clearly and on public. And it is also the responsibility of the Secretarial to prepare for transparent elections since they presents themselves as “Elected Staff” considering the fact that this election have been done a long time ago in Party’s organization, but whereas the Syrian Community Party presented a conference in 2006 and is preparing for presenting another one next month and the league in the other hand has not presented any conference even for only recommendation and the organization presented in “Womanish Prospects” website has no relation with Party’s organization. However we do not believe this election is going to be made for many reasons, first is that the clearance from the Syrian Community Party leaves the Secretarial almost alone without their masses that the league used to use to prove its effectiveness in Syrian society unfortunately the basic of this proof is the number of female members in the league which is a subordinate of the Party, second is the league’s grid of benefits that have been built during the league’s past years starting from allegation of being “The Syrian Women Organization” to exploitation the relationships with any organization that organize conferences and workshops outside Syria for its own benefits, according to this situation every member related to the Secretarial knew not to rival the members of Secretarial for attending any outside conference or workshop if there is any place for none-Secretarial members, member’s loyalty to the Secretarial is what giving them a chance, ignoring the fact that any discussion about these activities or any obtained acknowledgment are always monopolist and not presented to virtual presented people. And we always observe that the Secretarial always concerns about “Hiding” any information about its activities and making sure not to publish any acknowledgment of documents to media or any other party.
Again we emphasize that everyone has the right to criticize on public about the Syrian civil organizations experiences specially organization whose slogan related to women issues because this organizations including their administration and employees themselves have no special values, since their values come from representing people and it is very hard to admit that represented people do not have the right to know about their representatives, and the pathetic excuses like “security pressure” and “radical war” are no more than a definite proof of the depth crisis these organizations face, and organizations’ critical work for getting rid of the this miserable situation is the only way to improve their civil work.
In its page “related sites” The new website “Womanish Prospects” completely ignores both sites: the site of the Syrian Community Party’s journal “Al-Noor” which is the most important paper-backed journal in supporting woman issues; and the site of “Syrian Women Observatory” because the observatory has subjected to neither any personal considerations nor any compromises about its criticisms to organizations of civil society in Syria like it has not subjected to any other compromises.
The website “Womanish Prospects” contains pages related to woman’s issue like Empowerment and women’s issues, CEDAW, Beijing, and violence against women.
The website slogan is “for a society free from all forms of discriminations against women- a space for dialoguing on the rights of women of full equality” and the “About Us” pages identifies the Syrian Women’s League as “A democratic feminist organization established in 1948 as the “Syrian Women’s League for the protection of motherhood and childhood”, and licensed to formally operate under the Ministry of Social Affairs, No 5424 date 11/5/1957”, and the licensed canceled under a presidential decree that was issued at the beginning of the era of Syrian – Egyptian unity and commanded of disband all before-unity licensed parties and leagues.
The League is a founding member of the “Democratic Women’s Union” in 1949, and of Arab Women’s Court to resist violence against women in 1996.
The League is located in Damascus, and has sections in a number of Syrian governorates.
The League is a national committee meets regularly and whenever necessary, and there is a body of elected Secretariat (Secretarial) to coordinate the work of the league between meetings of national commission.
Since its inception the league has been active in national and social struggle, and considered women’s rights as human rights”
But the published information did not report any information about the date of the last conference the league held to elect a new “general secretariat of the body”, and the league was introduced as if it originated from the beginning on the principle of women’s rights as human rights, however everyone knows that this is a new concept in the whole world, and that the communities parties used to reject (and still a lot of them refuse) to consider the issue of women as special case, Instead they used to link the foggy perception about women’s rights with something called “wining in class struggling”. And maybe the identification would be better if the identifier tried to show a true picture about the improvement of the concepts and basics in the league, rather than trying to claim that since the establishment time the league was awarded to women’s rights as human right! Because Syrian Women’s League like others did not meet this concept before the nineties of the last century when the socialist system broke down and the ideas about considering women’s rights as integral part from human rights and basic concept in civilization have been improved, and that’s way the website identification still reflects the old mentality that still believe that “The history has proved their point of view” even if they had to alter history to prove their beliefs.
Also the “About Us” page contains information about the website concerns which are:
- Raise awareness about issues of Syrian women, and exposing add forms of discrimination and violence against women in family, society and laws;
- Publishing of secular thought and stabilization of modernist thought in the mental of community, in relation with women issues, as an integral part of renaissance issues and human right;
- Create a space for dialogue and experiences exchange at the national, regional and international levels between the various enlightenment and modernist and secular trends whose concerns about women’s issues. And devote methods of democratic dialogue in dealing with the other opinion;
- Attract the attention of young people, of both sexes, to the issues of discrimination against women;
- Launch campaign claims and questionnaires;
- Communicate with friendly websites, the modernist and secular intellectuals, journalists and women interested in change and persuade them to participate in the process of change;
- Document Syrian and Arab and international feminism writers;
- Provide sources of knowledge specially training references to increase their benefits.
Syrian Women Observatory always welcomes any new addition in Syrian media, and confirms that Syria still needs more and more workers in civil society in all areas, to get rid of the accumulation of old centuries’ remnants that harming our society and forcing it to be far from what should be achieved in giving citizenship to everyone in, regardless of gender, religion, race color, and…
Today we in Syrian Women Observatory also hopes for this initiative to be a new start for the Secretarial to exit from the dark tunnel where they put themselves in over the past few years by clearing publicly their relationship with the Syrian Communist Party, and stop acting according to their benefits and changing their relation-dependent policy.
And we also hope for them to move on from their past illusions about the closed world to the realities of today that confirms that the real work for a society of citizenship and equality cannot be done secretly or by attending conferences or by ignoring that the only worth work is working inside Syria but that work requires to stop hiding behind shameful statements like “The impossibility of working in Syria” and “Constrains and Obstacles” which is true but not a justification for laziness.
We are also interested in confirming that any more criticism personalizing or considering criticism as personal attack will not serve anyone except for those who will be pleased for the movement to equality to stay trapped in its own illusions, and anyone who consider themselves as a representative of public will be a public property, and anyone or entity will have the right to criticism them or their thoughts, behavior and actions because this is the tax that should be paid for this kind of work.
Also people that we claim to work for their behalf or their issue always have the right to know every detail about our work and how much we truly represent them, and this fact cannot be changed under any real difficulties but rather difficulties must drive to greater transparency, hard work and correct mistakes but not to sink more in illusions, and working like this is the only way for the slogan of “Womanish Prospects” website to truly have meaning not to be only some empty words.
Finally, We truly wish for this website not to meet the same fate of “Noon-Alneswa” the bulletin signature by “Syrian Women’s League” and is not changed only once a year or more (although changing costs nothing, but we are not about to question reasons now), and we also wish from the secretarial (we hope they look for a new name) to work hard and give efforts to make this website a good information resource in the areas of website concerns, and a platform to work for citizenship society that cannot be achieved without equality or with containing any form of violence or discrimination.

By: Bassam AlKAdi, 11/2/2011,  ( "Launching a website for "Syrian Women's League" or whom for?)

Translate By: Ghaidaa  Wannous

Source in ARABIC