Women become stronger with committees
Qamishlo – Women of Rojava showed a historical resistance against ISIS in front of the world. They have carried out important activities in all areas despite ongoing attacks on Rojava. They have become stronger by organizing themselves in every part of life, from economy to art, from social life to politics, from ecology to diplomacy. Yekitiya Star is one of the most important organizations for women. Yekitiya Star was founded on January 15, 2005, to be the voice of women living in North, West, and East Syria, and the name of this organization was changed to its current name of Kongra Star on February 25, 2016, after the 6th congress of the Yekitiya Star. Kongra Star organized itself in North, West, and East Syria, Lebanon, Europe, and Federal Kurdistan Region. Kongra Star consists of 12 main committees; education, social affairs, politics, diplomacy, self-defense, law, economy, finance, culture and arts, media, ecology, and health committees. We have prepared an article series consisting of 10 articles about the activities, committees of the Kongra Star. In the first article, we give information about the foundation of Yekitiya Star, its activities after changing its name to Kongra Star.
First Yekitiya Star was founded
On January 15, 2005, Yekitiya Star was founded despite the pressure of the Baathist regime. Yekitiya Star, the voice of women in Rojava, held secret meetings at homes to organize training for women. Yekitiya Star, which secretly carried out all its activities for women and society, formed a unity among Kurdish women from Dêrik to Afrin. It organized women for the International Women’s Day and Newroz celebrations. It had an important role in the Revolution in Rojava. It first carried out activities in small groups and then expanded its organization network.
Women changed the name of their organization
On February 25, 2016, the Yekitiya Star held its 6th congress and the congress decided to change its name from Yekitiya Star to its current name of Kongra Star. Kongra Star has carried out its activities in many areas through communes and cooperatives with the motto, “Society can't be free unless the women are free”. It carries out important works in Syria, Rojava, and NE Syria and aims to be an organization that will be a model in the Middle East. Aiming to create a women's revolution in all regions, Kongra Star is ideologically based on Democratic Confederalism. It has representation offices in Federal Kurdistan Region, Lebanon, and Europe. It struggles for democracy, ecology, and women’s freedom. It aims to build a free Rojava, a democratic Syria, and the Middle East.
It struggles against all forms of patriarchal mindsets
Kongra Star holds a congress every two years. It struggles against all forms of patriarchal mindsets, colonial politics, assimilation, massacres, and capitalism. It sees the Women's Defense Units (YPJ) as the defense force of women.
The aim is to build a democratic life
Struggling against all gendered discourses and patriarchal mindsets, Kongra Star aims to build an equal life between men and women with the democratic family model. Fighting against nationalist, sectarian, and chauvinist ideologies, Kongra Star is building an equal, peaceful, and democratic life for ethnic and religious groups in Rojava and NE Syria. It stands against cultural genocide and keeps cultural values alive. Solving the Kurdish political problems and problems faced by women are among its aims. It defends the co-presidency system and includes women in the decision-making processes in both political and social life. It fights against all forms of violence and strengthens women's self-defense. It also strengthens the social justice mechanism in the region. It defends children's rights and contributes to their development. It also protects nature. It stands against the destructive practices of Capitalist Modernity. It works to increase women’s participation in the labor force and develops projects to support women’s economy.
Communes and assemblies
Kongra Star organizes itself through communes, assemblies, academies, cooperatives, and committees. Communes work to build an ethical and political society in villages, neighborhoods. Each member of the Kongra Star takes part in a commune. Every member has to be a member of the commune where she lives. The communes solve their political, social, economic, and self-defense problems by themselves.
Assemblies are formed in towns, regions, and cantons. They work coordinately with each other. Representatives of general assemblies of the Kongra Star hold their meetings and provide training programs. Women participate in politics through assemblies. They form commissions based on the Democratic Nation and then form committees. The elections of the assemblies are democratic elections.
Free science and thought
Kongra Star aims to institutionalize women’s revolution through academies. Kongra Star paves the way for women to educate themselves and improve their ideological, political, democratic, philosophical, social, cultural, and scientific awareness. The Kongra Star has developed education programs for the development of free science and thought. It opens academies according to the needs of the committees.
Women participate in the economy
Cooperatives are a production part of women’s communal revolution. Cooperatives are not only about economic integration but also a field where democratic communal culture is born and the seeds of coexistence are planted. In contrast to capitalism and industrialism, a communal and ecological economy is developed. Kongra Star develops projects to support and empower women’s economy. It aims to overcome women's unemployment, promote equal and fair economic development, and make invisible women's labor visible.
12 committees of Kongra Star
Committees of Kongra Star work coordinately with communities and assemblies in order to organize all areas of social life. Each committee has its own regulations and they carry out their activities according to these regulations. Kongra Star consists of 12 committees and carries out its works regularly.
Education and Academy Committee
The Education and Academy Committee works to raise awareness of women and society and to develop women intellectually. It aims to support the development of the intellectual revolution and build an ethical and political society. It organizes women's education policies and women's academies. It focuses on women's issues with a free life perspective. It strengthens the education system, establishes alternative institutions and organizations. It also coordinates academies.
The main purpose of the Social Committee is to develop society scientifically. It develops projects for all people, victims of war, immigrants, veterans, people with disabilities, and elders. It carries out activities for women and society to have a Democratic Nation consciousness. It also carries out activities for women, children, youth and it focuses on many issues such as immigration, unemployment, child labor, and child abuse and on solving these problems.
The Political Committee works to increase women’s participation in local and international politics. It is responsible for developing effective, strong, strategic, and tactical politics. It organizes meetings with women’s organizations of political parties to be in solidarity with them. Contrary to the male-dominated system, it defends democratic self-management with the participation of women. It performs the co-presidency system in democratic political institutions and organizations. It forms national and international networks for women. It works coordinately with the diplomacy committee.
The Diplomacy Committee is responsible for organizing and promoting women's diplomatic work. It carries out activities for Kurdish women's national unity and common struggle. It forms women’s platforms with organizations struggling against femicides, capitalism, fascism, and the male-dominated system. It also carries out activities to give information about the women's revolution and to protect the common heritage of women in the world and the Middle East. It works coordinately with the Political Committee.
The Self-Defense Committee defends women's democratic confederalism and self-defense against all attacks of the male-dominated system. It organizes society to strengthen their struggle against the nation-state, occupation forces, and special and psychological war policies. It also organizes women in self-defense forces.
Law and Justice Committee
The Law and Justice Committee is responsible for delivering justice and improving the institutionalization of women. While the committee plays a leading role in promoting social justice, it carries out a legal struggle based on social justice. It also strengthens women's self-defense on a legal basis.
The Economic Committee organizes women in the economy while developing the communal economy. The Economic Committee is responsible for the organization of women's economic activities. It struggles against capitalist neoliberal economic policies and supports a social-ecological economy. It ensures the participation of people from the villages in the economy. The committee supports women's cooperatives and organizes women's economic academies, economy councils, and communes.
The Finance Committee is responsible for systematizing, empowering, and organizing women's financial activities. Its main duty is to carry out financial studies. It works coordinately with the Economic Committee.
Culture and Art Committee
The Culture and Arts Committee struggles against cultural genocide. It carries out many activities to preserve and develop the cultures. It works for the culture, art, language, and literature of the Kurdish and Syrian people. It defends that all people should have education in their mother language. It establishes cultural and artistic organizations. It works in the cultural part of the women’s revolution. It develops projects with women. It also carries out activities in language and literature.
The Press Committee is responsible for promoting women's democratic social values, as well as women’s struggle, resistance, and revolutionary developments for women's liberation. It struggles in the field of the press against the ongoing special and psychological war policies. It introduces women’s revolution all around the world and makes the Kongra Star's activities and work heard. It struggles against sexist approaches and perceptions in the press.
The Health Committee is responsible for developing and organizing women's health work. It struggles against capitalist policies in the health sector. It works for everyone to benefit from health care equally based on the paradigm of a democratic nation. It works coordinately with women’s organizations.
The Ecology Committee focuses on everything including water, people, nature, soil, and plants. It aims to raise awareness of people to protect water, soil, and nature. It struggles against all anti-nature practices and aims to create a balance among people, nature, and all living creatures. It fights against sexism to build a democratic and ecological society.
Tomorrow: Remziye Mihemed: Despite the pressure, we left our mark in history