Milia Eidmouni is the co-founder – together with her colleague Rula Asad – of the Syrian Female Journalists Network. The network was created in 2012 to support gender equality and women rights. She talked with Justice Hub about what she thinks justice is and why it is important to strive for good information to succeed in holding criminals accountable.
“The Syrian media portray women as victims. They are seen as looking for support and as unable to do anything by themselves. They are considered weak.
“Through the Syrian Female Journalists Network, we are trying to change this image, focusing on successful stories about independent women and their role in the society. The network was launched with the aim of building a group of journalists working for gender justice and gender equality and at the same time increasing their skills through training and campaigns. We have around 60 members, and in the core team we are six.
“I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Damascus University. After I graduated, I worked as online editor and reporter. But I never had a chance to apply for the position of editor-in-chief because that role is for men. Moreover, if a male and a female are working together, the male journalist will rely on the female to do all the hard work, and at the end of the day he will take all the credits, because he has the power.
“This is why I think in my field justice means having equal rights. As a female journalist I should have the same rights as my male colleagues. There’s no power game on.
The power of media to achieve justice
“The media play a big role in changing people’s attitude. Media can reach many people, especially in local areas, and because of that, they can tell people why it is important to change things.
“In Syria, we are calling for all the criminal leaders and the man who started the war to be sent to the ICC. I don’t think it will happen soon. It will take time, but our role is to support this process with all the evidence we can provide.
“This is the role of journalism as well: uncover the truth and document all human rights violations. This can be done by talking to witnesses and to victims of these crimes, to make sure that victims’ stories are heard, not only in accountability processes, but also throughout history.
“I’m positive about the role of the ICC in this process and regarding Syria, but it will take time. It’s not going to happen tomorrow.
“I know that Syria hasn’t ratified the Rome Statute, but many organisations are pushing for this process. It will take time, but there are people working for this and who believe in this, and that is really important.”
(Photo: Emanuele del Rosso)
My Justice highlights the stories of individuals who work in the field of international justice or who have been affected by it and asks what does justice mean to them.