MSD Co-Chair: Women should unite and strengthen their struggle

“Hegemonic powers are dragging society into chaos with their new world design, creating deep rifts in society, and fueling war. This situation affects women most negatively. Therefore, first of all, women must stand in front of this war and chaos.”

ANF interviewed Emine Omer, the Co-Chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (MSD), on the occasion of 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Omer highlighted the importance of women’s struggle against war and mentalities that subject them to violence.

How do you evaluate the war waged by the nation-state systems in Rojava at the cost of a genocide against peoples?

The concept of war against the Kurdish people dates back a century and continues. The lands of Kurdistan were shared and fragmented between four states. Even though a century has passed, this fragmentation has created deep pain. The century-old policy of genocide still continues. They want to destroy these lands through a policy of systematic genocide, displacement and changing the population structure.

What is the reflection of these attacks of the Turkish state on women's organization and social struggle?

Before the occupation of the Turkish state, women were pioneers in Afrin, Girê Sipî and Serêkaniyê. Women's organization had developed, women were active in the Autonomous Administration institutions and organizations, women's institutions and establishments were in an organized state. Important work was being carried out to achieve women's freedom and create a democratic society. In addition, a new society was being created with women's color and women's perspective, and a mentality struggle was being waged.

Unfortunately, after the Turkish state occupation, dirty policies began to be implemented against women. The rights they had gained through resistance and struggle were taken away from them. The occupation was followed by a massacre, kidnapping, arrest, displacement and rape of women. The dirty policies implemented towards women who remained in the occupied inevitably caused women to be morally worn out.

Until today, there are attempts to prevent women's right to fight in the occupied areas, but they are still resisting. In these regions, neither women's institutions and organizations are included nor women's rights can be guaranteed.

If we look at Northern and Eastern Syria, women are organizing and participating in society with a pioneering mission. They are also trying to be a breath of fresh air for women under occupation. The women's struggle and resistance in the region is also for the liberation of women living under occupation. There is a life led by women in Northern and Eastern Syria. A democratic society is being built with women's strong participation in life, women's rights and freedom. As this resistance and struggle increases, the attacks of the Turkish state also increase. They are afraid of the strong will of women and the democratic society. In this case, special war policies against women come into play. As the struggle develops, they commit massacres to silence women. Women who are pioneers in society are targeted.

The building of a democratic society is also against the interests of hegemonic powers. They know that with a democratic society, the people they have in their grips will be free.

Why is it important to fight against religiousism, nationalism and sexism in the Middle East?

Religiousism, nationalism and sexism have brought nothing but pain to society. These sufferings lead to the destruction of society. It kills co-existence. We must be in a great war against religiousism, nationalism and sexism. If there is no fight against these mentalities, it will not be possible to become free. Religiousism, nationalism and sexism are ideational diseases. They only see and know themselves and their interests and are blind. Only through struggle can society be freed from these understandings that grip it.

How was the development and level of practicalization of the “Jin Jiyan Azadî Ber Bi Şoreşa Jinê” (Towards Women’s Revolution with ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’) campaign in Rojava? What are the goals for the new year of struggle on the occasion of November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women?

After the murder of Jîna Amini, the campaign launched in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan with the slogan "Jin, Jiyan, Azadî" (Woman, Life, Freedom) also received support from women in the region. It was a campaign that spread around the world. Women are always subjected to violence from the state and society. Women's participation in the campaign must be strong. Every society embodies violence, although not at the same level. There was also strong participation in this campaign in Northern and Eastern Syria and it continues to this day. This is an indication that women dominate the region.

We will stand against violence against women, we will not accept it. As women's struggle against violence increases, violence also increases. We say that the 21st century is the century in which women's freedom will be achieved and the struggle will reach its peak, but we also need to see the parallel increase in violence. Hegemonic powers are dragging society into chaos with their new world design, creating deep rifts in society, and fueling war. This situation affects women most negatively. Therefore, first of all, women must stand in front of this war and chaos. Violence against women is led by chaos and wars. In a war environment, women suffer the most. They are subjected to migration, they are murdered, they face political violence. The power to end the war must be women. They must pursue the cause of freedom. Therefore, our goal this year is to end the war, ensure women's freedom, achieve human rights and build a democratic society.

Women should increase their struggle. We can list many types of violence such as physical, psychological and economic. We have experienced great pain and we continue to experience it. Women should gather their power in one channel and be united. The more they are connected to each other, the more they can achieve their rights and create change and transformation in society. Therefore, women should unite and strengthen their struggle.