From Women’s Liberation Ideology Towards Free Women’s Organisations

The Kurdish women’s movement views women’s liberation as the guarantee for the struggle against patriarchy, state, and capitalism. Women’s autonomous self-organization in all spheres of life is at the heart of Kurdistan’s social revolution. But why women’s autonomy?

In this webinar, Nilüfer Koç will take us through the different stages that have led to Kurdish women’s autonomous self-organization. From the early theory of ‘breaking off’ from traditional, patriarchal gender roles, to the project to ‘killing the man inside’ as the struggle for men’s liberation from patriarchal structures. From the declaration of the women’s liberation ideology and the foundation of an autonomous Kurdish women’s party – to the effort of building up women’s democratic confederalism in Kurdistan.

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Öcalan and Women’s Liberation With Havin Güneser, Spokesperson International Initiative ‘Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan

The imprisoned Kurdish political leader and thinker Abdullah Öcalan has played a historic role in the development of the Kurdish women’s movement. His analyses of patriarchy, and its relationship to capitalism, the state, and the family have shaped the theory and practice of the Kurdish liberation struggle since the beginning. At the same time, his practice continues to be informed by his desire to be a genuine comrade to free women, with whom he wants to build free life for all.

In this webinar, Havin Güneser discusses Öcalan’s women’s liberationist ideas and practice over the course of several decades. Why and how does Öcalan view women’s revolution as a vital need in the quest for freedom? In what ways did he encourage women’s autonomous organisation? What is the Kurdish women’s movement’s relationship to Öcalan today?

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Webinar Video: Iranian Kurds: Challenges, Existence, and Goals

Keynote Speaker: David L. Phillips-Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights:

“Iranian Kurdistan, also known as East Kurdistan or “Rojhelat”, is home to 12 million Kurds who are dispersed in parts of Kermanshah, Ilam, West Azerbaijan, and Kurdistan provinces. In return for supporting the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iranian Kurds were promised local self-government, and control over natural resources and economic decision-making. They were also promised cultural rights, including use of both Farsi and Kurdish in education.”

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Towards a Democratic Society with the Co-Chair System

The Kurdish Women’s Movement has played a pioneering role in the re-establishment of women’s position in political and social life. The co-chair system enables women to institutionalise the transformations in gender relations and make way for the democratisation of society and a free common life.

In this webinar, Ayşe Berktay (HDP, Women’s Assembly) will provide an insight into the origins and practice of the co-chair system and share experiences within the HDP.

A brief History of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in four parts of Kurdistan

At the latest since the historical resistance against the so-called Islamic State in Kobanê, the images of the Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ have been present everywhere.

But many people do not know that the Kurdish women in Rojava derive their strength for the construction of a democratic, multi-ethnic, ecological and gender-free social system from more than 40 years of resistance against the Turkish occupation and annihilation. In this seminar we want to learn about the manifold and enlightening history of the Kurdish women’s movement in all four parts of Kurdistan.

The Politics of Prisons: Women’s Critiques and Alternatives

Around the world, prison systems rely on systems and structures that oppress and subjugate groups of people for the purpose of exploitation and social control. Prisons are a site of struggle for many social movements, which believe in approaches to justice and social peace beyond authoritarianism, surveillance and violence. Why do prison struggles matter to women? What could prison abolition look like from a feminist perspective?

The panel is organized by Cenî Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace as part of the ‘Solidarity Keeps Us Alive’ campaign.

Speaker’s bios:

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