The growing struggle of women in Rojava - I

Influenced by Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s ideas on women's freedom and organization as well as by the experiences of women militants, the people of Rojava formed their organization under the name of Yekîtiya Star on January 15, 2005.

The Kurdistan Freedom Struggle moved to another phase after Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan arrived in Rojava in 1979. Abdullah Öcalan, who influenced the Rojava area for 20 years, sowed the seeds of women's organization from the lands of Rojava to the whole of Kurdistan. Considering the social reality and women's reality, he has become a guide for women's organisation.

Kongra Star Coordination Member Zeyneb Mihemed spoke to ANF about the process from the beginning of the women's struggle in Rojava to the establishment of Yekîtiya Star. Mihemed recalled that the first woman organization in Rojava started with the arrival of Öcalan. “Previously, there was no organization where women could recognize themselves and fight and resolve problems. The arrival of Öcalan marked the real beginning of this struggle. Afterwards, the PKK's struggle here helped women get to know themselves and form their organization.”


Mihemed summarized the development of the women's struggle as follows: “Women's organisation in the region made further progress in the 1990s. Now, women in Rojava have gradually started to find the way to freedom to enable them to resolve their problems. Öcalan's arrival in Rojava paved the way for this because Öcalan attached great importance to women. Commitment to the ideas of Öcalan led to an increase in struggle. Women's participation in political and social activities began. There was no such thing before. Women had been secluded at home. They were not doing any work. Öcalan’s arrival helped women make progress not only in one area, but also in the entire public sphere.


Women were holding meetings where they proposed solutions to existing problems. With the activities carried out in the 1990s, women got to know themselves. The power that had been lost in history and seized by the rulers was reclaimed. Women thus came to the fore. Women made themselves heard in marches, uprisings, meetings, and martyrdoms. They were able to reveal that hidden power gradually.


Öcalan carried out very important work in Rojava, the impact of which has remained until today. Many steps have been taken so far. Women are now active in every field, including political and military fields. With the strength they got from Öcalan, women have improved their organization.


Various activities were carried out to this end in Rojava. Afterwards, they were further expanded and reached all segments of society. Thus, a strong organization was needed to resolve the problems in Rojava. Öcalan had already laid the groundwork for it in Rojava. Afterwards, women declared their organization in Rojava so as to resolve the existing problems better. Thanks to the ideas of Öcalan and the women's movement in the region, women have become able to take bigger and more important steps in Rojava.


In line with this need, the women of Rojava were organized under the name of Yekîtiya Star. The ideology of the Women's Freedom Movement also provided a major support to this organization. This organization started with the philosophy of Öcalan, and then it emerged as a result of the struggle of the Kurdish Women's Movement and the activities carried out in Rojava. Progress has been made in many ways. Ideologically, remarkable steps have been taken based on the perspective of the Women's Freedom Struggle. Indeed, it was a significant support. The support of the military forces cannot be ignored, either. The support of the female guerrillas was significant. Our comrades in the mountains of Kurdistan protected the women and people in Rojava. If there had been no such defence, the defence mechanism in Rojava would not have reached its current level.”

To be continued…