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"Defenders of Women's Rights and Independent Journalism" at the Raseef22 Digital Conference

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English Women’s Rights Freedom of Expression

Tuesday 20 December 202208:22 pm
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

"المدافعات عن حقوق المرأة والصحافة المستقلّة"... إبحار في الأسئلة والتحديات بمؤتمر رصيف22 الرقمي

While independent journalism dealing with women's issues, advocacy, and defending women's rights is fraught with tricky and dangerous questions, Raseef22 seeks answers and solutions that will support women and help provide protection for them through a digital conference on December 21,2022.

The conference will be broadcast on Raseef22's Facebook page, under the title: "Defenders of Women's Rights and Independent Journalism".

Why now? And why this topic in particular?

From the very beginning of Raseef22's journey in 2013, covering human rights violations has taken up an essential part of its daily reporting and production, including violations against women in most political, social, and economic spaces, among others.

"To delve deeper into the questions and challenges that women journalists and writers face daily, especially those whose fields of work, and lives, are engaged in feminist action".. Stay tuned for the Raseef22 Digital Conference on December 21st on our Facebook page

For many years, we have published — and continue to publish — daily stories addressing women's issues in the 22 Arab countries, while also highlighting ethnic and religious minorities in this region. We contribute to intellectual production related to women's rights issues by publishing reports, press stories, interviews, opinion pieces, blogs, and testimonies from writers, journalists, and women's rights defenders, and by sharing many experiences that contribute to the path of demanding and seeking justice and gender equality in the countries we live in.

Our work is not limited to issues that concern women's rights defenders in our region, but also the women defenders themselves, the challenges they face in the absence of fair legal frameworks that protect and defend women in the region, and under patriarchal societies that pursue and hate women, their rights, and their freedoms.

The Raseef22 digital conference entitled "Defenders of Women's Rights and Independent Journalism" comes “as extension of this process” and “to delve further and deeper into the questions and challenges that women journalists and writers face on a daily basis, especially those whose fields of work, as well as their lives, are engaged in feminist action.

Three central sessions

Our digital conference includes three sessions, in which women writers and journalists who are feminists and women's rights defenders active in feminist work in the Arab region and beyond — including those living in voluntary or forced exile — will speak.

How can independent journalism be feminist? How do we protect women journalists working on women's rights issues? How can journalism contribute to justice?.. This is a sample of the questions we are looking to have answered in the Raseef22 digital conference

As for the first session, it kicks off at 11 a.m., Beirut time, and will last for an hour, in a discussion on: "How can independent journalism be feminist?"

During this session, the discussion will not be limited to press coverage of feminist issues and/or movements, but rather will also include how this has become a basic approach in our journalistic work, which is based in large part on monitoring human rights violations, and also how it is ignorant of the principal basis of work with a feminist approach.

Moderating the session from the Netherlands is Palestinian journalist Rasha Hilwi, co-editor-in-chief of Raseef22. Three female journalists will be joining her — Maya Ammar from Lebanon, Syrian Rola Assad from the Netherlands, and Henda Chennaoui from Tunisia.

In the second session, which starts at 1 p.m., Beirut time, and is set to last for an hour, the focus will be on the question: “How do we protect women journalists working on women's rights issues?

As women journalists and women's rights advocates, we choose to be on the front lines in order to make voices heard and open issues that are often overshadowed and covered up, while also aiming to raise awareness to confront these issues. However, this is often faced with a barrage of bullying, exclusion, and sometimes threats. By sparking this discussion, we seek ways in which we can confront this violence, and what our role as journalists would be when it comes to transforming women's issues into broad-spectrum solidarity campaigns. 

From the Czech Republic, the session will be moderated by Syrian journalist Zeina Kanawati, while Bahraini journalist Nazeeha Saeed, Syrian journalist Yasmine Merhi — both of whom are based in Germany — will also participate in the discussion along with Egyptian journalist Rasha Azab.


Given that we live in countries with laws that do not side with women and rarely protect them, but rather in fact contribute in large part to marginalization, exclusion, and discrimination against women, in the third session, we move on to "In the absence of laws supporting women, how can journalism contribute to justice?

The session delves into investigating the idea; In the absence of justice, how can journalism contribute to protecting women and put pressure on decision-makers to move towards government institutions and laws that do justice to women and their suffering?

The session, which will be held between 3 and 4 p.m. Beirut time, will be moderated by Lebanese journalist Diana Makled , and will be attended by Syrian activist Wafa Mustafa from Germany, Egyptian journalist Solafa Magdy from France, and Lebanese activist Alia Awada.

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