Sulaymaniyah, Iraq – Kurdistan
editor, journalist, administrative officer
What type of projects do you do?
I am a news journalist and sub-editor for Nawa radio and website. I am interested in creating features and short videos because it can often have a rapid effect on society. I write articles about freedom of expression, supporting women and children and human rights I also critique social ideas which cause harm, like my video and report on honor murders in Iraq. I like to share awareness in the community to tell women that they are powerful, and they can reach for their dreams. I want all people to live with peace and love. In the future, I want to organize community projects especially for women.
Why did media work interest you, and how did you get started?
I am interested in this field because there are so many women victims, who do not know their rights, they are accepting many kinds of violence, and society needs to accept its responsibility for the increasing numbers of female victims.
Day after day, we hear that a woman has committed suicide or was killed by her family because the society did not accept them making their own decisions. So, they leave school, they choose to be alone, they do not try to learn, and at the end, they accept violence.
The only solution for these problems is to spread awareness in the community, I am focusing on victims, I am pointing to those who are responsible for violence, sometimes I prepare a report about a murder case or I create a video about violence. I want to tell people to choose humanity and love instead of hate and violence.
And sometimes I organize a visit to the mental hospital to meet girls who tried to commit suicide, to know the reason and try to help them
What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?
It makes me happy when someone reads my article and tells me that it was helpful, and it helped to face their problems. But the biggest challenge is to convince women that they have rights, and they must fight for them. The hardest part is to locate victims, when I do, I try to tell them they do not have to feel shame because they are the victim, not the guilty. It is very hard for me to convince females to not accept violence – I want them to break their silence and face it, and stand up for their rights; Because of the culture, it is very hard to convince society to stop treating females as weak creatures and to stop violence against them.
What do you like and not like about working in this industry?
I like working for women: to tell them that they are powerful, that they have rights to fight for, when I can help someone in a bad situation, it makes me feel blessed.
The worse thing that I am facing is my society. It does not want an open-eyed girl, they want a girl to do what their family wants, even if it is not what the girl wants. It is hard in some case when you tell a woman about her rights and she denies that. As well, when I am looking for the truth of a case it is very hard to establish what is true and what is false.
My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….
I like to act as I am. I am a normal person with a free soul, I love everyone, and I want to live in peace with love. I like to motivate people, I have writing and speaking skills to connect to an audience on important social subjects. I like to communicate with people.
Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?
The IAWRT network helped me a lot and inspired me to keep going and reach for my goals, and it makes me happy to know and communicate with people that care about women, and share our story around the world
What are your long-term goals?
My goals are to support women in reaching their dreams and to teach them it is okay to fall because they can stand up again. I want to work for a decrease in the suicide and murder rates of women in Iraq.
What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?
I am advising them to work in the media field as it is very important to connect with more people and support other women and inspire them to stand on their feet. Also, they can be connected with international news as it is very important to know about the outside world.
Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, because of your experience?
First, women must make their safety their top priority, and they must be ready for every response. They must read up on safety principles of the work and deal with it, I want to support them and tell them ‘you are strong, do not give up, face your fears, and publish the truth.’
links to some of Binay’s work which are available online (in Kurdish Language except IAWRT feature)
IAWRT web feature on honor murders (in English)
News for the radio’s site that I work at:
Also I write my ideas in my social accounts … Facebook – Binay Shorsh