Against all forms of violence and occupation: Jin Jiyan Azadi

The day against violence against women on 25 November takes place in the shadow of war. The women's movement in Rojava is organising the day under the motto "Against all forms of violence and occupation: Jin Jiyan Azadî!".

The women's movement in the autonomous region of North and East Syria is celebrating the International Day against Violence against Women under the motto "Against all forms of violence and occupation: Jin Jiyan Azadî". An action alliance of women's organisations and institutions has put together a week-long programme around 25 November, which includes public demonstrations, educational work, seminars, discussion events and cultural performances.

The backbone of the women's movement in Rojava is the Kongra Star association. In Kurdish mythology, Star is the name of the goddess Ishtar (Inanna) and also means star in modern usage. The Coordination of Kongra Star published a statement on the occasion of 25 November in which it commemorates the martyrs of the women's liberation struggle and expresses its respect for all women who are fighting against patriarchy and for freedom worldwide.

The statement released by the Kongra Star Coordination includes the following:

“On the occasion of November 25th, the International Day against Violence against Women, we commemorate the struggle of the Mirabal sisters and, on behalf of the martyrs Şervin Serdar, Zeyneb Seroxan, Yusra Derweş, Liman Şiwêsh and Roshna Agit, we commemorate all revolutionary women who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for freedom. We also honor the women around the world who are battling against patriarchy and fighting for freedom.

This year, November 25th takes place in the shadow of the wars waged by the dominant male ideology. As Kongra Star and women’s organizations in North and East Syria, we welcome this year’s 25th of November with the slogan “Against all forms of violence and occupation: Jin Jiyan Azadi” and promise to intensify our struggle. Violence against women, like all forms of violence, from colonialism to occupation, from slavery to massacre, has its origins in patriarchal mentality and the oppression of women. Whether in Myanmar, Palestine, Karabakh, Afghanistan or Kurdistan, wars of occupation lead to the destruction of nature, massacres, displacement and, in particular, feminicide. Our struggle against occupation and patriarchal violence must be led and strengthened side by side.

The conflicts and wars that are developing in many areas today show once again that violence against women is not limited to the family and society, but is promoted and protected by the policies of nation states and carried out by nation states themselves, be it in Kurdistan, Palestine, Mexico, India or Afghanistan. We see and experience this especially in the occupation. The occupation itself is violence and is carried out with the same patriarchal mentality of rape. Due to the occupation, women are most exposed to all kinds of violence, especially sexual violence. In the occupied areas of Rojava such as Afrin, Serekaniye and Girê Spî, women are exposed to the violence of the occupation on a daily basis.

The attacks of the patriarchal system, which are waged on the level of a systematic war, show that the male-dominated states are afraid of the success of the women’s revolution.

We have seen this reality in Rojava and North and East Syria, where we started the women’s revolution with the slogan ‘Jin Jiyan Azadi’ more than 11 years ago. The slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi” means that women need free consciousness, self-organization and self-defence power in order to liberate life. The women’s revolution that we have started here is particularly under attack by the fascist Turkish state. The Turkish state has started a special war to assassinate political and organized women who are the leaders of their people and who seek to establish a democratic system. Dozens of our female comrades who fought for the military, social and political defense of their territory have been martyred by the drone war waged by Turkey.

Any form of violence against women is an attack on the women’s revolution. Defending the women’s revolution means strengthening and increasing the organization of women. To protect the women’s revolution, we must wage a unique and radical struggle. As women, we are the pioneers of this struggle and follow in the footsteps of the martyrs who laid down their lives for freedom. We continue our struggle for a free life, which we understand in the spirit of Abdullah Öcalan’s philosophy.

Patriarchal mentality is on the rise in all parts of the world and is waging a special war, with psychological and physical violence against the minds and bodies of women. Against this, our struggle should be waged worldwide against the patriarchal consciousness and the nation state, which deepens the mentality of the system and the dominant man. On this basis, we call on all the women of the world to take their place in the resistance against patriarchy and to organize locally and internationally. No woman should remain unorganized, because today’s struggle is necessary so that we can all live a free life.

In order to destroy the patriarchal system, we will intensify our struggle against all kinds of violence against women and the dominant mentality of men. Under the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom”, we will build the World Women’s Confederalism and turn our century into the era of women’s freedom!
From Rojava to the Middle East and around the world, we will make the 21st century become the century of women’s freedom with the leadership of women, our organization and self-defense power.
Jin Jiyan Azadi! (Woman, Life, Freedom)”