Mala Jin becomes symbol of women’s revolution-4-
Mala Jin plays an important role in all regions of North and East Syria. Mala Jin members spoke to NuJINHA about their activities.
Qamishlo- The Peace Council is the solution space for women and social problems. It is one of the achievements of the 2011 revolution. It plays an important role in society since it resolves disagreements in society. It also has an important role in communes. The members of the council consist of old people. One of the aims of the Peace Council and Mala Jin is to resolve the problems faced by women and society. The council was established to ensure peace, democracy and equality in society. Qamishlo Peace Council member Recih Salîh spoke to NuJINHA about the activities of the council.
“The main aim is to resolve problems”
Speaking about the aims of the Peace Council, Recih Salîh said, “The main aim of the Peace Council and Mala Jin is to resolve problems in society. Mala Jin, Women’s Justice Council and Peace Council work coordinately with each other to resolve the problems faced by women and society. When people apply us to resolve their problems, we try to understand the problems by listening to them. The council has both women and men members. When a woman asks for a safe space, she is directed to Mala Jin. We try to resolve problems between spouses, neighbors, siblings, and father-children. We listen to both parties and try to resolve the problems because one of our aims is to ensure equality in society. But we can say that 90% of women do not have any rights. The women’s revolution is the hope of women to achieve their rights. We never say that women should be superiors to men. We aim to ensure gender equality. We do not only build houses but also society. We aim to ensure equality and freedom for the whole society. When I demand equality, freedom and democracy at home, my children and grandchildren will also demand them.”
“Education is important to ensure equality”
Behiye Mûrad, a board member of Mala Jin, spoke to us about the role of the Education Committee in Mala Jin. She told us, “Education plays an important role in institutions and organizations of the Autonomous Administration. The Education Committee organizes educational programs for all institutions and organizations. Education is very important for Mala Jin. We both educate ourselves and other people. Mala Jin holds educational courses in cooperation with the Education Committee. We resolve social problems through education. We first educated ourselves in order to educate our society. As leader Apo (Abdullah Öcalan) said, education is more important than bread and water. Mala Jin aims to build an equal and common life for both women and men. We organize courses across North and East Syria about the roles of women in society, women’s history and rights. We also hold seminars on special days such as International Women’s Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Our society suffers from many problems such as child marriage, polygamy, gender-based violence, bride exchange and forced marriage. We organize awareness-raising activities and training to end them.”
Mala Jin “Eşterot” for Syriac women
A branch of Mala Jin was opened in Qamishlo in September 2019 for Syriac women under the name of “Eşterot”. Eşterot is a space for Syriac women to find solutions to the problems faced by them. We spoke to a member of Eşterot about its activities.
Ayda Melkê, a member of Eşterot in Qamishlo, told us they named the Mala Jin for Syriac women after Ishtar, a Mesopotamian goddess. “In the beginning, the Syriac society did not believe that Eşterot would resolve the problems faced by women. For this reason, we faced challenges. After the people got to know more about the women’s house, women began to apply to us to find solutions to their problems. We had meetings with women to tell them that the women’s house works to protect their rights. The women, who are subjected to violence, apply to us and we do our best to end violence against them and provide a shelter for them. Now, five women work for Eşterot. All our committees work coordinately with each other to support women. Until now, we have resolved many problems. All Syriac women should come to Eşterot to find solutions to their problems because we are here to support them,” Ayda Melkê told us.
Mala Jin is a space for solution
Stating that the duty of Mala Jin is not only find solutions to problems but also carry out awareness-raising activities, Perîşan Reşîd, a member of Mala Jin branch in the Aleppo’s Şêx Maqsûd neighborhood, said, “The branch of Mala Jin was opened in the neighborhood in 2011. Mala Jin has only one branch in Aleppo. The aim of the branch is not only to find solutions to problems but also carry out awareness-raising activities to ensure equality in society. Mala Jin carries out its activities coordinately with communes, councils and committees. We support each other to benefit society and women.”
Mala Jin in Manbij
Speaking about their activities, Îman Hemşo, a member of the Mala Jin branch in Manbij, said, “The branch of Mala Jin was opened in 2016 after Manbij was liberated from ISIS. We have three branches in Manbij in order to reach all women. When men and women apply to us in order to find solutions to their problems, we discuss and try to find solutions to their problems. The discussions sometimes last months. Until now, we have resolved 1,755 cases.”
Mala Jin in Raqqa
Zehra Şilaş, spokesperson of the Justice Committee of the Zenobiya Women's Community in Raqqa and its villages, told us that the branch of Mala Jin was opened in Raqqa in 2018 after the city was liberated from ISIS. “In 2021, the branch of Mala Jin was transformed into the Zenobiya Women’s Community Office. There are 19 Peace Committees across Raqqa. In addition, the Zenobiya Women’s Community has 20 offices across the city. The main aim of these offices is to find solutions to problems of spouses, particularly to family problems. We find solutions to about 1,080 cases every year. When we do not find any solutions, we send the cases to the Raqqa Court for Social Justice.
Mala Jin in Shahba
Silava Cuma, a member of Mala Jin in Shahba, said, “The branch of Mala Jin was opened in Shahba in 2017 with three members. We faced many challenges when we opened the branch because our canton was under the control of ISIS and other armed factions. Over time, we managed to overcome all challenges. Now, there are many branches across Shahba and women support each other thanks to Mala Jin.”
Mala Jin in Tabqa
Stating that the branch of Mala Jin was opened in Tabqa in 2017, Recae Ebid El-Rehîm, a member of the branch of Mala Jin in Tabqa, said, “Then, seven more branches were opened in rural areas of Tabqa. Our main aim is to find solutions to the problems faced by women and ensure peace.”
“Mala Jin is the power source”
Şaha Elî, a member of the Mala Jin in the Euphrates Region, told us that Mala Jin is both a safe space and the power source for women. “In 2012, the branch of Mala Jin was opened in the Euphrates Region. At that time, many women were subjected to violence and pressure. For this reason, we decided to open a branch in the region. The Mala Jin in the Euphrates Region has been a source of faith and strength for women by providing a safe space for them.”