Syria’s Women: Policies and Perspectives

This blog post comes to you a few weeks late, somewhat sidelined by an effort to get another publication off the ground. My time at the Tahrir Institute has been occupied almost exclusively by research, drafting, and editing a project that was, until just two weeks ago, unnamed. This project focuses on diversifying the narrative surrounding Syrian women, one that is so often defined by the passive. These women are discussed merely as passive victims of violence or as the mothers, sisters, and wives of men. In an effort to change this, TIMEP is partnering with media company News Deeply to provide a number of policy briefs and interview based reports on different themes that seek to provide more holistic coverage of women’s issues in Syria and the diaspora. I have been very lucky to work on researching and writing these briefs, but as I have learned, these things do not launch themselves.

After numerous name changes, debates over potential social media hashtags, and website iterations I found myself slightly irritated, but also pleasantly surprised by the investment and ownership I felt over the project. What had begun as a few haphazard google searches (women’s education in Syria? Syrian education? access to education for Syrians??) had made its way, thanks to a healthy dose of editing from four different people in the office, into a legible and published document. Not only that, but the press release and theme blurbs too were fine tuned versions of what were fundamentally my words. Silly though it may seem to my coworkers who do this all the time (hi TIMEP, I know you’re reading this!) the idea of actually producing something tangible this summer makes it all worth it. Even commuting on the DC metro.

Now, having said goodbye to all my fellow interns save one, and racing to finish my final briefs before my last two weeks are up, I know that it will be strange to separate from this project. I am but one of a long and illustrious line of interns to work on Syria’s Women: Policies and Perspectives but I am biased enough to feel it my own. Tomorrow we are set to publish the second installment in the series, this one on women’s access to healthcare, and probably the last that I’ll be in the office for. I look forward, however, to seeing whatever comes next, whatever updates, additions, and edits will make their way into the final copy. Check it out at and be sure to stay updated for new content every two weeks!

Written by Isabelle Carpenter’20, FSI Global Policy Intern at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

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