Sakine Cansız Women's Festival starts in Zurich

The 11th Sakine Cansız Women's Festival started in Zurich, Switzerland, bringing together. women from different identities and cultures.

The Sakine Cansız Women's Festival, organised in memory of Sakine Cansız, one of the founding cadres of the PKK who was murdered in Paris on 9 January 2013, started in Zurich on Sunday.

Organised by the Kurdish Women's Union of Switzerland (YJK-S) and supported by nearly 30 women's organisations and initiatives, this year's festival is taking place in Zurich's Kasernenareal area decorated with posters of women revolutionaries who lost their lives in the Kurdish Freedom Struggle and Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The festival, taking place under the slogan "We are marching to women's revolution with Jin, Jiyan, Azadî", started with a minute of silence in memory of the martyrs of the revolution. YJK-S member Selma Sürer made the opening speech of the festival.

Selma Sürer stated that the festival unites the women of the world and that the struggle of Kurdish women shows the way to oppressed women.

Speaking after, Özen Aytaç on behalf of YJK-S emphasised the importance of Sakine Cansız's spirit of struggle and commemorated Zeynep Kınacı (Zilan) who carried out a suicide against Turkish troops in Dersim city center on 30 June 1996. "The struggle of Comrade Sara and Comrade Zilan is our road map,” Aytaç said.

Aytaç continued: "Sakine Cansız is a guerrilla, a philosophy of life. She became a power by overcoming the obstacles in her life one by one. The struggle was always a matter of honour for her. And she was everywhere, sometimes as a commander, sometimes as a fighter, sometimes as a diplomat, sometimes as a sister, sometimes as a resistance fighter. Most importantly, she guided us with her stance. In addition to her modesty, her determined stance, her stubbornness for the truth and her fight is a legacy for us women."

Özen Aytaç also commemorated PKK guerrilla Zeynep Kınacı, who was martyred as a result of a self-sacrifice action she carried out in Dersim in 1996, saying, "Zilan's action is the beginning of a new era for us. The struggle of Comrade Sara and Comrade Zilan is our road map. The women's struggle they waged has now spread around the world. With the heritage we inherited from them, we women are marching to the revolution together, shouting ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadi’ [Woman, Life, Freedom].”

The festival continues with cultural events organised by different women's organisations. Among those taking part in the organisation of the festival are; Swiss Kurdish Women's Union (YJK-S), Movement of Young Fighting Women (TekoJIN), Women Defend Rojava, Medico International, Frauen Lesbes Kasama, European Democratic Women's Movement (ADKH), FIST, Socialist Women's Union (SKB), PDA, Yeni Kadın, Democratic Alevi Movement (FEDA), Zurich Kollektive, Solifonds, Frauenbündnis, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), BFS, Amed Zurich Bridge, BastA, Socialist Party (SP) and Alternative List (AL), Frauenstreik (Women's Strike), UniMenos, Purple-Red Kollektive and Bethnahrin Frauen Union.