When violence broke out in Syria in 2011, Ghasak al-Ali was a high school student. Now, at just 27, she is the breadwinner for 11 members of her family – something that would have been almost unthinkable before the war.
A decade of conflict is evolving traditional values towards gender roles as death, injury, emigration and disappearance into President Bashar al-Assad’s notorious jails have deprived tens of thousands of families of their male earners.
Women are being thrust into the role of the provider in a way few had experienced previously.
Al-Ali, who is from Saraqeb in rural Idlib, the country’s last rebel-held province, had to find work when she was 23 after her father broke his back and could no longer continue his employment. As the oldest of her siblings, she had to take responsibility for the family, earning from humanitarian work and later, as she built up her skills, from journalism.