“The UK anti-terror laws have been designed and used to punish solidarity with national liberation movements such as the Kurdish Freedom Movement” Les Levidow. A co-founder of the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), is interviewed by journalist Erem Kansoy.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
Connor Hayes speaks with Jan Fermon, lead solicitor in the case in which the Belgium Court of Cassation ruled the PKK is not a terrorist organisation, about the implications of the Belgian court ruling, the PKKs broader struggle for decriminalisation, and the future of resistance in the war on terror era.
Dr. Jeff Miley interviews Meral Çiçek about the recent Turkish bombing of the Makhmur Refugee Camp and Sinjar, in Iraq.
Meral Çiçek was born in 1983 in a Kurdish guest-worker family in Germany. She started political and women’s activism at the age of 16 within the Kurdish Women’s Peace Office in Dusseldorf. While studying Political Science, Sociology and History at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt she started to work as reporter and editor for the only daily Kurdish newspaper in Europe, Yeni Ozgur Politika, for which she still writes a weekly column. In 2014 she co-founded the Kurdish Women’s Relations Office (REPAK) in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). She is also editorial board member of the Jineoloji journal.
Jeff Miley is a Lecturer of Political Sociology at the University of Cambridge, and a member of the Board of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) and a Patron of Peace in Kurdistan. He is co-editor, with Federico Venturini, of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Ocalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdogan’s Turkey (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2018).
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.
Dr. Jeff Miley interviews Dr. Sanal Mohan, the author of Modernity of Slavery: Struggles against Caste Inequality in Colonial Kerala (Oxford University Press, 2015), about the social and political consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kerala and in the rest of India.