In the words of Rawan Riziq: “Laws addressing violence against women and girls need effective implementation on the ground”


Rawan Riziq, youth activist from Jordan. Photo: UN Women/ Emad Karim

Rawan Riziq, 28, is a PhD student in Educational Psychology from Jordan. She works at the Jordanian-Emirati Camp for Syrian refugees. Rawan attended the Regional Youth Workshop on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in the Arab States generously supported by the Government of Japan.

I think that the laws addressing violence against women and girls need effective implementation on the ground. This need to be prioritized. Also, we need to consider the role of media because they can easily impact the ideas and values in people’s minds and can normalize all types of violence. In addition, educational systems, especially the educational curricula, need to be reformed and to introduce concepts such as gender equality. Lastly, we need to provide women and girls safe spaces and shelters so that they can receive appropriate care if they experience violence.

As a youth peer educator, I work with young Syrian refugees aged 12 to 24, conducting educational sessions on how to prevent gender-based violence and work to involve men and boys in defending women's rights. I also provide vocational courses to women and girls so that they can improve their economic level, which is a required element for them to achieve their empowerment.

Countries should work to ensure the full and active participation of young people in constructive dialogues for the development of plans and implementation of projects, programmes and activities devoted to both the prevention of violence and the provision of services for women and girls who have experienced violence. As young women, I firmly believe that we have a role in helping to repeal discriminatory laws that perpetuate violence against women and girls.

I am confident that the Regional Youth Call to Action for Ending Violence against Women in the Arab States that we prepared in Beirut will contribute to address this issue in our region.