Foza Yûsif: The Rojava Revolution is a milestone for women

On the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the 19 July Rojava Revolution, PYD Co-Presidency Council member Foza Yûsif talked to ANF.

We publish the second part of the interview with PYD Co-Presidency Council member Foza Yûsif.

The Rojava Revolution has been a woman-led revolution since its inception. However, how do you evaluate the impact of this democratic system, which has grown within the framework of the democratic nation and is embodied in North-East Syria, on the Middle East, the peoples of the world and the women of the world?

A peculiar feature of this revolution was that many women took part in it. This was one of its biggest peculiarities. In this revolution women left their traditional supporting position. They played a big role in political, defense and cultural fields. In some areas, women were up to 50 percent. For example, in the political field, the co-presidency system came to life in Rojava Kurdistan for the first time and went on to acquire an international dimension being established around the world. It is also present in Northern and Eastern Syria. This co-presidency system has been a revolutionary step and model for women organizations all over the world.

Currently, there is a co-chair system in all communes and assemblies in North and East Syria. The Women Justice Council was also a first in the world and allows women to be involved in cases concerning them, and on this basis, women can be effective in making decisions. Again, women played a historical role in the defense fields by joining the YPJ, Asayiş and HPC. Women played a major role in all resistance areas to ensure the end of ISIS.

A social revolution was lived in parallel to the Rojava Revolution

Another effect of the revolution has been the great changes and transformations as to relations within the family. We can say that a social perception, thought and male dominant mentality had taken advantage of the chaos in which our society had been left. In parallel to the political revolution, a social revolution took place. And both were very important for our society. They had a big impact on the democratization of the family. Changes in the cultural and political sphere have had a major impact on the women-men- -family relations. The women's revolution can form the basis of political and social revolutions. It also paves the way to the women's revolution in political and social revolutions. They have happened together.

There are also positive changes in the man himself. Men made a revolution with women and tried to organize a free society. I see this as a positive development. Just saying that doesn't mean we end the revolution and do everything we need for freedom. Freedom is something that develops day by day, needs to be strengthened and organized. However, the gains achieved have been considerable. As women, we have to protect the revolution and its gains.

We have seen that the women's gains in the occupied regions has been eroded. Laws are implemented which remind of the dark years in the history of humanity. The woman's head and brains have been covered again. The women were buried alive. What happened in Afrin, Gİrê Spî and Serêkaniyê show this reality. We can say that ISIS and its partners target the freedom of women most.

We are organizing day by day

The Rojava women's revolution did not start in 2011. The Kurdish women's struggle has 30-40 years. Objective and subjective conditions led to more concrete emergences. Favourable conditions were prepared for the revolution to happen with a greater effect. The gains achieved in these years played a major role in the feminist movements in the world as to intellectual work, women's science, and in the development of a free society. At the same time, there was a big change experienced by men.

A women's council in the North and East Syria has been established. The general Syrian Women's Council was formed. In other words, women's organizations under the roof of the revolution are getting stronger and bigger. In order to endure the women's revolution, all women must claim the gains of the revolution. At the same time, the woman needs to increase and strengthen her own organization. Because there are huge threats upon the women's revolution. We see these threats in the daily attacks on women. For this reason, we women have to work and defend the achievements day and night to make the changes and transformations for freedom permanent. Women play a big role in this matter.

After the defeat of ISIS, the Turkish state attacked the region and occupied some areas. The occupation attacks still continue. What can be done to protect and make the gains achieved with the price and struggle of the people of North-East Syria?

As we mentioned, there have been great changes and transformations in this decade. Again, great achievements and successes were achieved. But the war is still going on in Syria, and there are major dangers undermining the July 19 revolution. There are many forces that don’t want the revolution to develop, to be permanent. They are against change and transformation. These forces want to strangle the revolution. The people of Northern and Eastern Syria, especially the Kurdish people, need to understand the value of these achievements very well. The situations in Jerablus, Idlib, Afrin, Girê Spî and Serêkaniyê show us very well that the enemy does not want brotherhood among the peoples.

They don’t want stability and democratic system in the region. Their aim is to overwhelm us through nationalism, religion extremism and sectarianism. They want to turn this place into a bloodbath. Then they want to protect their interests. All hegemonic powers, especially the Turkish state, want to protect their interests in the region. To do this, they can sacrifice all peoples. We must protect our unity and solidarity as a people under all conditions and difficulties. Let us embrace, grow and organize more and more our brotherhood of the peoples and our democratic nation strategy day by day.

Again, self-defense, in terms of the region, is also essential in the process we live in. Therefore, it is not a remedy to escape from the war or to go in different directions. The important thing is to be one by combining our strength and energy together. We must protect our achievements by providing unity in our thoughts and ideas.

As we mentioned, the revolution started in Dera, but it produced results in Qamishlo, Raqqa, Dêir Ez-zor, Manbij and Kobanê. The 19 July Rojava Revolution was also a guarantee for the democratization of Syria. All Syrian people should protect the democratic autonomous system. Because it is a way of liberation and solution for all Syria's problems. The democratic nation is a solution not only for Northern and Eastern Syria, but for the entire Syria. The more this revolution is defended, the more Syria's future and the union of Syria are defended. It would be more accurate if everyone moves with this thought and idea in mind.

I congratulate all the Kurdish people, Syrian peoples and free people living in the four parts of Kurdistan on the occasion of the anniversary of the 19 July Rojava Revolution. I congratulate all the families of martyrs. At the same time, I bow with respect to all martyrs of revolution and freedom. Up to now, we have accomplished so much with our resistance and cooperation. Peoples' unity, women's freedom and democratic forces can overcome all obstacles. With this belief, happy 19 July revolution to everyone.