Besê Erzincan: Building a woman-led life - Part Two

Besê Erzincan said that "as women, we have to organize ourselves in all areas of life and create alternatives."

Besê Erzincan, coordinating member of the KJK (Community of Kurdistan Women), spoke about the origins of the Kurdish women's movement on the Xwebûn program on Jin TV hosted by Arjîn Baysal. 

Part one of this interview can be read here

In recent years, great determination has developed in Rojava, especially among women. This is thanks to the municipalities and councils, because everyone has a say and can have a say.

The municipalities and councils are the basic system in Rojava. All members must join a municipality. This is the foundation of Democratic Confederalism and the Women's System. Decisions have to be made from the bottom and go up. There are women's councils in every village and every city. In these women's meetings, problems affecting women's lives are discussed and resolved. Not only the problem but also the alternative life needs to be discussed. We know that the system of capitalist modernity intervenes in all areas of life. As women, we have to organize ourselves in all areas of life and create alternatives. On the one hand, the system pretends to serve; on the other hand, it enslaves society. Our alternatives should be both local and general. Women should be given a say in the region. We want to raise awareness across society. Because if people are not informed, they cannot make the right suggestions.

Is the situation the same in other parts of Kurdistan?

This system is not just specific to Kurdistan. It is a system for the entire Middle East and even the entire world. Its founding may have begun in Kurdistan, but our goal is to create a confederalism system led by women and community organizations worldwide. It may not be called KJK, but at its core it will be the same. We believe that if we create a free, ecological and democratic women's confederation system in the Middle East and the world, we will be able to build a democratic modernity.

Do you think you have reached every woman in the world? Do you have such a goal and do you consider yourself sufficient in this regard?

The idea of women has been spreading in Kurdistan for more than forty years. This is a great development, but we still have a long way to go. The KJK system will develop step by step. The work doesn't end with the organization. We have short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. The male-dominated system has been organized for five thousand years. We cannot say that we will change this system in five to ten years. Our goal is to develop the fight step by step every year. Challenging work is being carried out in terms of action, education, diplomacy and women's unity. Women's work never ends.

We had many difficulties, paid many prices, gave many favors, worked hard, but we developed step by step. Of course, we cannot say that we have introduced our system to everyone. But everyone knows that the Rojava revolution is an example. She is recognized all over the world. The slogan “Jin Jiyan Azadî” was shouted around the world. For the first time, there was a riot with a slogan for women. Kurdish women are also recognized in the field of diplomacy. Jineolojî is becoming more and more known, Rebêr Apo is known. There may be difficulties, but there is also progress. When we talk about how much we as militants of the KJK and PAJK play a leading role, we have shortcomings in this regard. But we also see our development and we will win.

They also talk about world women's confederalism. This is a program in itself. Many conferences were organized in cities such as Berlin and Frankfurt. At these conferences, people see how this system is implemented. How do you see the reactions of women in the world?

If you take the right step, you will definitely get a positive response. There is such a need in the world. There is currently migration, war, crisis, poverty and violence against women in the world. The system of capitalist modernity has created great hostility against women. This system is misogynistic. Women have no problem when it comes to action and rebellion. However, collaboration is more problematic. Our goal is to create a flexible and shared organizational network that brings all women together and enables a new life. The KJK is a model. It addresses the problems of women. At the conferences, women show great interest in Kurdish women, listen to them and respect them. There is a rejection of the 5,000-year-old male-dominated system. Women are rising up, but they don't know what kind of system and life they will build. But women are slowly coming together. The KJK system gives the right answer to the problems experienced.

How does the KJK fight against sexism? How does it defend women? How is free life constructed?

The KJK system wages an important battle against sexism. It is a very broad system in terms of education, system and life. Throughout history, women's ability to defend and organize has been destroyed. However, life was built around women. In this system there was no government and no state. Under the male-dominated system, men attacked women in all areas. Women became slaves. The nation state is based on sexism. There is a great conflict in relationships between men and women. All life is organized on the basis of men's interests. Women have no rights in society. We want to correct these mistakes in the women's system. The co-board system is one of the pillars of this. The more a woman organizes, the more she can fight against sexism and transform her life.

How do men react? What kind of change does the KJK envision for men?

It is not easy for men to change. This has to do with the development of women. When a woman develops, changes, transforms, can make her own decisions, becomes free, then men must also go through a change. There are some men who understand women and want to change themselves. Others are against women, and some feel responsible for nothing. We need to do very comprehensive work on changing men. We have to be very persistent. Many of our male friends are educating themselves. Our KJK system forces men in society to change. If he doesn't change, the women's system will not accept this man. We have to continue our fight and educate ourselves.  It doesn't happen overnight.