Hatice Şen: Nobody can stop the struggle of women

TJA activist Hatice Şen said that women have achieved many gains in 40 years of struggle paying heavy prices for them, and added that the system is waging a war to destroy these gains.

The Free Women's Movement (TJA) launched a campaign with the slogan 'We defend ourselves' against isolation, political genocide, harassment, rape and repression on 15 September. TJA activist Hatice Şen spoke to ANF about these two months of campaign.

Şen said that there has been a relentless struggle in Kurdistan for years, and emphasized that they consider defending themselves above everything else as women. Noting that very important values have emerged in the struggle for women in the last 40 years, Şen said that the enemies of women are waging a war to destroy these values.

Underlining that they are resisting against all kinds of attacks on women's gains, Şen said: "The values created by the labor of women and society are protected by the struggle of women. The system wants to keep women and children under pressure. At the basis of these attacks against women and children are harassment and rape. The system acts thinking 'You will crush the head of the snake when it is small'. In the war it wages against the Kurdish people, the state says,‘Kurds should have their heads crushed when they are children. The state wants to darken the future of children. Its attacks are directed to the whole society, but especially to women and children."

Noting that in addition to the attacks on the society, heavy attacks are also carried out against nature, Şen recalled that the Cudi and Dersim mountains have been burned by the state for months.

Reminding that historical places such as Hasankeyf are now under water, Şen stated that the Kurds were left without memory through this pillaging of natural and historical places.

Şen pointed out that during the excavations carried out in the Zerzevan Castle, many women's artefacts were unearthed, and said that these artefacts are very valuable and that they should be preserved.

Commenting on the 'We defend ourselves' campaign launched by TJA on 15 September, Şen said: "The women's campaign started in many cities and districts. We are exposing the state’s special war policies with this campaign. Both women and mixed workshops are held. The struggle against the male mentality and the change-transformation of the man are very important."

Stating that they have been working in provinces, cities and villages, Şen said that such activities carried out for the organization of the society during the pandemic process are very important.

Reminding that they started a campaign under the leadership of women in 2004, Şen continued: "There was a deadlock in the society at that time. Women created a consciousness with the campaign ‘We are not the honor of anyone, our honor is our freedom’. Attacks, harassment and rapes against women and children increased after [President Erdogan] stated ‘We will do whatever is necessary, regardless of whether it is a woman or a child.’ Following the launching of this latest campaign detentions of TJA members continue. no matter what they do, we will continue our struggle. Nobody can prevent women's struggle."