25 November 2021- Peace in Kurdistan Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
On 25th of November, the Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is recognised all over the world, Peace in Kurdistan commemorates all women who have been killed, whose lives were ended as a result of male violence.
We stand with Kurdish women across Kurdistan and raise our voices to amplify their message. In the year when Turkey pulled out of the Istanbul Convention which sought to advance the struggle against gender based violence we have seen violence spiralling increasingly out of control both domestically and in the conflict zones of Afrin and Northern Iraq.
In Turkey among many others we remember Basak Cengiz killed by a man wielding a samurai sword, Pinar Gultekin, a young woman who was strangled and burned by her ex-boyfriend last year, and Cilem Dogan, who faces 15 years in prison for killing her abusive husband who forced her into prostitution.
There have been 159 femicides and 138 suspicious deaths of women since March 20, when Turkey announced it was leaving the Istanbul Convention until November, and the total number for 2021 is 309 as of today.
In Afrin, according to the UN more than a thousand women have been kidnapped in the city, which has turned into a center for looting, rape and ethnic cleansing. The fate of the majority of the abducted women remains unknown.
According to the civil institutions in Afrin, 84 women have been killed since the beginning of the occupation of Afrin on March 18, 2018, and October 25 , 2021. The first was in 2021, including six women who committed suicide. 71 women were sexually abused. The Human Rights Organization in Afrin announced the continuation of the crimes of the Turkish army and the groups it supports against women in Afrin, and that war crimes have continued in Afrin without interruption since the first day of its occupation.
The continuing toll of deaths suffered disproportionately by women brings us to the conclusion that we need an effective, holistic violence against women strategy that recognises and addresses the inequalities that women experience across the world, and the culture in which it exists. We need to see long term and permanent change.
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, Maggie Cook, UNISON women activist; 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, Bert Schouwenburg, International Trade Union Adviser; 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.