Feminist movements between cultural heritage and revolution: The case of Northwest Syria

For many decades, Syrian women have suffered from the absence of their active role in the society of which they are half the population. The female role has emerged only through what is permitted by the regime and its general direction through its institutions, except for the case of cultural heritage that has formed a great barrier to women, and their restriction to customs and traditions for a long period of time. Especially in the Northwestern region of Syria, which is predominantly rural, dependent on agriculture for its livelihood, and women are a fundamental factor in it, which made many women lose their ambition to change their lifestyle according to the capabilities they possess that allow them to participate actively in society (Saadou 2019). But with the start of the Syrian revolution, women tried to get out of the oppression of the Assad regime, which prevents freedoms, on the one hand, and the cultural heritage, habits, and traditions prevailing in society on the other side. There is no doubt that a lot of research (Gambale 2016) tried to deal with the situation of women during the revolution and their role in the revolutionary movement, yet this research did not place it within the historical context linking women’s activism to their cultural heritage. The significance and impact of cultural heritage on women’s activism is still unexplored and poorly understood, in addition to the fact that most of the research and studies dealt with the feminist movement during the early years of the Syrian revolution. A further dimension of this research is keeping up with events until the date of writing this research, because of the development of events in Syria and the decline of opposition areas to the northwestern region of Syria. We are facing a new reality, and this is why we chose this region as a case study because it’s the only remaining area where the revolution continues.

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