Arab Reform Initiative Podcast
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Series # 4
Syrian Women in Politics

Arab Reform Initiative Podcasts


  • Episode 1 - 
    Syrian revolution coordination

    Since the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, the Syrian Revolution Coordination Committees were formed to coordinate demonstrations, documentation, media appearances, and political and human rights efforts. In this episode, we interview Ruba Al-Shoufi, a feminist activist, about student coordination in Suwayda. We also interviewed Maysa Al-Mahmoud, founder of the Syrian Women’s Coordination in northern Syria.

  • Episode 2 - 
    The Syrian National Coalition

    The Syrian National Coalition was established in 2012, as an effort to unify the Syrian opposition, and it later gained regional and international recognition. 

    In this episode, we meet Ruba Habboush, a Syrian political activist and the coalition's Vice president, and Dima Moussa, a feminist politician and member of the coalition. Together they will discuss the establishment of this political body, its work, in addition to the role and position of women within its framework.

  • Episode 3 - 
    Local Councils

    Local councils started to form in 2012 and 2013 as the Syrian regime was losing control of major parts of the country and there was a dire need to identify a governing body in its place, particularly on the public services and administrative fronts. 

    In this episode, we hear from Huda Sirjawy, a member of the legal office at the local council of Maarat Al-Numan for four years, and Eman Hashem, the first female president of the local council of Aleppo. 

  • Episode 4 - 
    Autonomous Administration

    The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria is considered the first of its kind in terms of adopting a co-presidency. To understand this experience from a feminist perspective, we interview Zozan Alloush about her experience as an advisor for humanitarian affairs in the Syrian Democratic Council, and the activist and writer Shams Antar, a member of the Kurdish Writers Union

  • Episode 5 - 
    The Syrian Negotiating Commission

    The Syrian Negotiating Commission was founded in 2015 under the mandate of the UN, under the mission of directly supervising the negotiation process with the Syrian government.

    In this episode, we talk about the work of the Commission, the representation of women and their role within it through the Syrian politician Alice Mufarrej, who has been a member of the Negotiating Committee since 2017.

  • Episode 6 - 
    Women’s Advisory Board

    In collaboration with UN Women and with the support of the UN Department of Political Affairs, Staffan de Mistura's Office of the Special Envoy formed the Syrian Women's Advisory Board (WAB) in January 2016.

    In this episode we interview researcher and activist Sabah Al-Hallaq, member of the Women’s Advisory Council, to talk about its founding, its work, and margins of its development.

  • Episode 7 - 
    The Syrian Feminist Political Movement

    The Syrian Feminist Political Movement is the first and only feminist political body in Syria. It was founded in 2017 with the intention of incorporating a feminist agenda into the political process in Syria.

    On the sidelines of the movement's fifth conference, we host in this episode the founding member and the General Secretariat officer, Ruwaida Kanaan, to talk about the opportunities and challenges of the movement to achieve its goals.

  • Episode 8 - 
    Universal Legal Jurisdiction

    In 2020, the Syrian case witnessed an important historical milestone, as those directly responsible for crimes against humanity from the Syrian dictatorship were tried in Germany under universal legal jurisdiction.

    In the last episode of the JALSA series, we interview human rights activist Jumana Saif, to talk about the trials, the role of women in them, and their impact on the political scene in Syria.



The Syrian conflict is among history's most well-documented events,  yet the vital roles of women remain overlooked. Our upcoming Jalsa podcast series, ‘Jalsa with Syrian Women Politicians,’ aims to bridge this gap. In eight episodes, we'll explore Syrian politics through in-depth interviews with women who are key players in the political landscape.

This series is produced within the framework of the SAWT project, one of the Women Political Participation program’s outputs. The program aims to enhance women’s voice at decision-making tables, through local feminism knowledge production, local and international advocacy, and women’s networking at the global south level.