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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The Defeat of Gilgamesh: An Ancient Epic History of Love and Power Paperback

By Greta Sykes published on 30 March 2020

The defeat of Gilgamesh

Enheduanna, High Priestess in the city of Ur, tells the story of Inanna, Goddess of love and war and the hero Gilgamesh. It is the year 2450 BC. Inanna’s grandmother, the Goddess Ishtar, determines that Inanna must rescue the privileges and high status of women and sends her on a voyage together with a friend and a eunuch. A near death experience leaves Inanna wounded and weak. In the town of Kish they learn that one of the great heroes at the time, Gilgamesh, has acquired fame and notoriety, leaving the citizens of Uruk bewildered and helpless. Together with the High Priestess Nin of Kish, they figure out a plan to bring about his downfall. The revenge of his mother nearly cost them their lives.

Only Mountains -Original Drama Radio Play by Maxine Peake

Only Mountains

Original Drama by Maxine Peake

When Pearl chooses Istanbul as the destination for her best friend’s hen do, it isn’t just the beautiful location that draws her there. While in Istanbul, Pearl meets people from the Kurdish community and her political convictions are strengthened through her encounters. But when she makes the controversial decision to join the YPJ, an all-female Kurdish militia fighting on the brutal frontline in Rojava against the Islamic State group, will her friends be able to change her mind?

Continue reading “Only Mountains -Original Drama Radio Play by Maxine Peake”


Peace in Kurdistan stands in solidarity on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020, alongside all Kurdish women, across Kurdistan, in the diaspora, and all who are engaged in the struggle for liberation and for their just democratic rights. We stand with all women fighting for justice and freedom from state violence, who are so often at the forefront of global liberation movements.

In these tragic times with the Kurdish-Turkish conflict well and truly ignited in Syria the struggle of the Kurdish people for their genuine liberation remains as urgent as ever. In the face of systematic violence and state oppression, Kurdish women’s voices and activism are among the loudest and most fearless of the mass popular movement that has emerged over recent decades.

They so often pay the highest price. Women politicians have been deliberately targeted during the conflict, for example, Hervin Khalaf, the secretary general of the Future Syria party, a greatly respected politician and diplomat, who was assassinated by Turkish backed mercenaries in Syria in October 2019. Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2020 SOLIDARITY”