With International Women’s Day around the corner, it’s a good time to celebrate women who have played an extraordinary role in advancing women’s rights. LERRN is thrilled to highlight Muzna Dureid and the amazing work she has done – and continues to do – for women and girls.

In 2011, Muzna and her family fled their home country Syria because, as participants in the revolution they had been targeted by the government regime. They crossed into Turkey where as refugees they had very few rights, and were unsure about their future prospects. 

These hardships did not stop Muzna from advocating for women’s rights. While in Turkey, Muzna founded Women Refugees, Not Captives, a campaign that works to end child marriage in refuge camps. She was also active in peace building activities in Istanbul, and gained experience working with the White Helmets on projects relating to protection such as Mines risk education and sexual and gender-based violence.

Due to her activism while in Turkey, Muzna was nominated as a Laureate of the Sister to Sister Mentorship program which brought her to an event in Ottawa, Canada. She then applied for asylum in Ottawa and was granted residency in 2018. 

Muzna continues to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. In 2017, Muzna helped to found the Syrian Women’s Political Movement in Paris and sits on the organization’s board. This movement works to empower Syrian women to participate in peace talks, and to bring new women candidates and perspectives to the political arena. She was also a member of the Women Deliver Young Leaders group of 2018-2019.

Muzna has been widely recognized for her efforts. She is a winner of the Canadian Excellence in global Women and Children’s Health in the youth category in 2019, a recipient of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers annual award for outstanding Advocacy on behalf of the human rights of Refugees and was nominated to the finalist list of 75 top Canadian immigrants in Canada.

Watch this video to learn more about Muzna and her work: