Solidarity with a Kurdish Women’s Eco-village Community in Northern Syria
In early October 2019, when the US administration announced that it was abandoning its Kurdish allies in northern Syria, and leaving about 1,000 US troops trapped there to face the onslaught of the Turkish military, Women Rising Radio got an alert from a conference in Italy, where Syrian Kurdish women appealed to their supporters worldwide to come to their aid. They were, and are, directly in the path of the violence in northern Syria, and the eco-village paradise they created there is also in dire danger. Women Rising Radio has featured women working with eco-villages, peace villages, and women’s activist cooperatives across the globe. We are in solidarity with the women of JINWAR, the feminist and democratic eco-village in northern Syria. And we want all of our listeners to know about JINWAR. Perhaps among you there are organizers who can give assistance to this great undertaking – helping to protect it. Here is an excerpt from a letter delivered to the conference in Italy, from the women of JINWAR themselves:
“JINWAR is a place where women are able to live in a communal way and autonomously raise and educate their children freely and without huge daily influence of the dominant male mentality. Many brave women and men fought and gave their lives, in order to liberate this territory and make the possibility to build a new democratic system inspired by the concept of Democratic Confederalism. This system is based on ideas of Abdullah Ocalan concerning women’s freedom and self-administration of different ethnic and social groups, which are living here side by side together. Our village JINWAR is a part and in the same time a result of this revolutionary process. Furthermore, it is also a practical example, how we, as women, can create alternatives in fields as communal living, ecology and economy. During this process many things have been built here in Rojava: Women are organizing autonomously in every city. Examples for this are “Kongreya Star” and “Mala Jin” (Women’s houses), where women are gathering and developing solutions for problems of the whole society. In the “Mala Jin” women are supporting each other in solving conflicts in families. Women’s leadership and participation in decision making processes is also a key component of the direct democracy model being enacted in Rojava. Through that women could gain a new position in society and in politics. This achievement can be an example for all the women in the world.”
The women of JINWAR who drafted this letter go on to describe the dangers facing them and their visionary enterprise:
”You could see what we have built up: the houses made of clay, in which we live together, the school, the healing center for natural medicine which is supposed to be opened soon, our bakery, the garden, the fields, all the trees, which grow bigger and bigger and all of all our common life, far away from oppression and violence, based upon our will to live together as free women and children. …All this is now under direct threat by the Turkish State, which openly launches attacks against Northern Syria. Erdogan’s plan is to extinguish the Kurdish people and to occupy our region. We can see the results of this politics in Afrîn, which has been occupied by Turkey, DAIŞ and other Jihadist groups. The situation in Afrîn turned out really bad for the people, especially for the women, whose rights were taken away, who suffer from violence and rape, who are sold and treated as slaves. The attacks and another occupation by the Turkish state in other parts of Northern Syria could mean the same brutal exploitation for women here.”
The women of JINWAR are calling out to the people of the world to raise our voices and assist them in rescuing all that can be saved, from the violence of war:
“In the moment we are writing this letter different villages and places around have been bombed and many people have already been killed. Our village, our society, our lives and the life and future of all people here, especially women and children, is under urgent threat. We, as women and children from JINWAR call you to raise up your voices and take action against this war. Use all the possibilities you have to spread information and raise awareness about the Turkish occupation politics! Don’t stay silent! Let’s stand up together for free life and for our common future!”
Please send out this plea to all who can be of assistance to the brave and visionary women of JINWAR.