Kurdish Women's Movement of Rojava call for global solidarity campaign: Women Rise Up for Afrin!

by The Region    


Today in Afrin, Kongreya Star, the Kurdish Women's Movement of Rojava, launched the global solidarity campaign #WomenRiseUpForAfrin.

They call on the women of the world to join the campaign and to defend the women's revolution against Turkey's and Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army(FSA) attacks. 

Here is the call in English:

The Kurdish region of Afrin in the Democratic Federation of North Syria has been under heavy attack from the Turkish army and affiliated jihadist gangs since 20th January 2018.                                                                                                                  
Night and day, our towns and villages, refugee camps, and historic and sacred sites are being bombed by Turkish warplanes and artillery with the aim of depopulating and occupying the area. While the international public has not taken any adequate action, every day we face new war crimes and civilian casualties. Women have become targets of rape, cruel sexual assault and mutilation of their bodies by the Turkish army and affiliated gangs.

The Erdogan regime openly announced the aim of its military aggression on Afrin as being the annihilation the democratic autonomous self-administration of Rojava and to occupy the territory of Northern Syria. Along with racist, religious-fundamentalist and sexist oppression, Turkey strives to wipe out the traces of women's history, and the matricentric
and egalitarian culture in our region. Afrin was one of the first places of settlement and also of the agricultural revolution in the Fertile Crescent. Women played a leading role in this historical process which has been described as the first women's revolution. Symbols of mother-goddesses like Ishtar or Astarte are a common cultural heritage of the local peoples and can be found in many sites of Afrin. For example, the huge footprints in the flagstones of the 3 thousand-years-old Ain Dara temple, situated close to Afrin city, have been symbolising the presence and the spirit of the goddess Ishtar. By bombing and devastating this temple site the Turkish state strives to enforce its patriarchal and fascist order.

As women from Afrin, we are determined to defend our heritage of the first women's revolution in our homeland and to succeed in a second women's revolution through our resistance against occupation and oppression. Today the ancient caves in the mountains have become our shelters which protect us from the bombings. Over 6 years, women from Afrin and all parts of Rojava have been resisting against the attacks of the Islamic State. At the same time, we have played a leading role in building up democratic structures of self-administration.

We have built up autonomous structures based on communal organising, women’s councils, academies, and cooperatives, as well as women’s self-defence. Through realizing that women’s solidarity is one of our most effective weapons, we have developed our collective strength and consciousness. Today, ten thousands of women have taken up arms to defend their land, their lives, and their future in Afrin. The resistance of the Women’s Defence Units YPJ and the women’s civil defence forces, Parastina Jinê, who have organised under the umbrella of the Women’s Movement of Rojava, Kongreya Star, are part of a women’s global resistance against any form of oppression, exploitation, femicide and fascism.

While the international institutions and state governments keep silent about the abuses of international law and
war crimes, we believe that women’s international solidarity will be our strongest weapon in defeating fascism and patriarchy. By stepping in the footprints of Ishtar and those women who created and defended communal life, we call upon women from all over the world to rise up for defending Afrin and the values of humanity!

Let’s strengthen the networks and actions of women’s international solidarity to spread the women’s revolution

We call upon all our sisters around the world to take urgent action and join the campaign by using and
spreading #WomenRiseUpForAfrin in local protests, creative actions, marches and social media campaigns.

Stop Turkish invasion and occupation aggression on Afrin – Stop genocide and femicide!
Rise up for the protection of the people, the land, the cultural and historical heritage of Afrin!
Rise up for the defence of the democratic, ecological self-administration in Rojava and North Syria!
Defending Afrin means to defend the Women’s Revolution - “No pasaran” to Erdogan’s Fascism!