The women of Kurdistan have assumed their rightful place at the forefront of the struggle for freedom of their people over recent decades. They are taking concerted action and making enormous sacrifices in their struggle to challenge state oppression, militarism and patriarchy.
Inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Abdullah Ocalan, Kurdish women in increasing numbers have joined the ranks of the people’s struggle and become leaders of a popular movement that is overturning historic oppression, remedying injustices and transforming the entire political landscape of the region.
Women have assumed the reins of power in the administration of Rojava working alongside their male counterparts to build a new society. Women have won elections in increasing numbers to the Turkish Parliament and at the local government level in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. They have endured legal threats, detention and harassment from the Turkish authorities and faced horrific physical threats from Turkish nationalist groups.
Despite great progress made across many levels of society and politics, women continue to endure intolerable violence in the domestic sphere and in politics, while civilian women and their families continue to be targeted by Turkey’s brutal military interventions.
Women’s equality and freedom is central to the politics of liberation espoused by the modern Kurdish moment. Violence against women has become systematic in Turkey under Erdogan and is exercised with extreme brutality by militias who revile the very idea of women’s freedom. Violence against women has been used routinely as a weapon of war to undermine the Kurdish political movement and to destroy their communities.
Kurdish women are remarkable for their toughness and resilience and continue to resist with courage and determination. By their courage and talents, Kurdish women have made history and as a united force guided by the visionary ideas of Ocalan, they are an unstoppable force. They have demonstrated that they cannot be defeated despite all the unremitting violence and intimidation that is inflicted on them in the conflict zones, in public life and in society.
Abdullah Ocalan has sketched out a vision of a future society with women’s equality and freedom at its core. The new society that the Kurdish leader has envisaged is a grassroots democracy where men and women have full and equal representation at all levels. Ultimately, violence against women will only be eradicated when this truly democratic system becomes a reality.
Peace in Kurdistan expresses its solidarity with the women of Kurdistan and all those who are resisting violence against women at all levels of society. Women will not be free until the daily threats of violence are eradicated. Their political mission will continue until the social and political conditions that allow violence to flourish are eliminated.
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts Estella Schmid: 07846 666 804 & Melanie Gingell: 07572 430903
Patrons: John Austin, Baroness Blower of Starch Green, former GS NUT, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Jill Evans, former MEP, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Prof Dr. Michael Gunter, Secretary-General, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Rahila Gupta, journalist, Nick Hildyard, policy advisor, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, former MEP, Dr Les Levidow, Open University, Elfyn Llwyd, John McDonnell MP; Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, David Morgan, journalist, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Dr Thomas Phillips, Liverpool John Moores University, Trevor Rayne, writer, Joe Ryan, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, PIK Trade Union Liaison Officer, Jonathan Steele, journalist, Steve Sweeney, journalist, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Federico Venturini, Associate Researcher, University of Udine, Italy; Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward, former MEP, Kariane Westrheim, Chair, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Hywel Williams MP.