Strengthening resistance of women from Clara Zetkin to Arin Mirkan -1
Women’s resistance spreading from a house to the streets While women have turned their anger into resistance on the streets since March 8, 1857, women in NE Syria have become a hope for women all around the world with their historical resistance. They began to celebrate March 8 in a house under the pressure of the Baathist regime but since the revolution in Rojava, they have taken to the streets to celebrate their day. While the women of Rojava have been empowering their organizations with the struggle they have waged from past to present, they have been strengthening women's resistance from past to today, from Clara Zetkin to Arin Mirkan.
Women’s resistance spreading from a house to the streets
While women have turned their anger into resistance on the streets since March 8, 1857, women in NE Syria have become a hope for women all around the world with their historical resistance. They began to celebrate March 8 in a house under the pressure of the Baathist regime but since the revolution in Rojava, they have taken to the streets to celebrate their day. While the women of Rojava have been empowering their organizations with the struggle they have waged from past to present, they have been strengthening women's resistance from past to today, from Clara Zetkin to Arin Mirkan.
News Center- Women have played an important role in building lives since the beginning of humanity, but the exploitation of women’s bodies led to the strengthening of the male-dominant systems. Their domestic labor is still invisible while they are paid less than men despite their equal work. The struggle of women for “Equal pay for equal work” is still ongoing today as the most concrete indicator of the discriminatory policies implemented against them. One of the most important turning points of the women's struggle was the strike of a total of 40,000 female employees working at a textile factory in New York against inhumane working conditions and low wages. Police finally locked the doors of the factory and 129 women on strike were killed in burned down a factory. The women who were burned to death in 1857 have been reborn every day in the 165-year history of struggle. An international Women's Day was proposed at a conference in Copenhagen in 1910, held by socialist organizations from around the world. Clara Zetkin, a German socialist, suggested the idea to commemorate the strike of garment workers in the United States. The proposal received unanimous approval from over 100 women from 17 countries.
They become a hope for women all around the world
Women all around the world celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 by organizing activities, events, and protests to demand their rights. After the emergence of the Kurdish freedom struggle, the Kurdish women have celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 since the 1990s. Despite the forced displacement, torture, arrest, the burning of their villages and forcibly disappearing people in the 1990s, the Kurdish women have demanded their rights and peace by taking to the streets. They have waged a struggle against all kinds of oppression and patriarchal mindset everywhere, from Rojava to Iran, from Iraq to Northern Kurdistan. Kurdish women also displayed a historical resistance in Rojava, and they continue to display. While the international states that created a brutal terrorist organization like ISIS just watched the inhumane practices against Yazidis, particularly in Shengal, the Kurdish women fought ISIS in NE Syria, particularly in Shengal. They resisted ISIS which the world was watching with fear. The victory of the Kurdish women against ISIS becomes a hope for women all around the world. Many Kurdish women, such as Şilan Kobanê, Arîn Mîrkan, Avesta Xabûr, Gulan Botan, who lost their lives in this resistance, leave their mark in history. In this article series, we try to write down the struggle, resistance, and courage of women in NE Syria and how they celebrate International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day was first celebrated in Rojava in 1987
The women’s resistance in Rojava Kurdistan developed in the 1980s. The women of Rojava first celebrated International Women’s Day in a house in 1987 in secret. In those years, people faced oppression by the Baathist regime. A group of women came together in a house located in Qamishlo city of NE Syria to secretly celebrate their day. Then, women came together in different houses to celebrate their day.
Symbol of IWD in 2004: Nazliye Keçel
In the following years, women decided to take to the streets on March 8. The women came together in the Terteb village of Qamishlo city in 2004. In those years, women could not freely go out and celebrate IWD, because the regime immediately attacked them. Many women were arrested by the regime forces for celebrating IWD. Nazliye Keçel was one of these women. She went missing after being arrested. The fate of Nazliye Keçel is still unknown.
Celebration in Derik
Despite the attacks on them, the women of Rojava continued to celebrate IWD. Thanks to thousands of women, Yekîtiya Star Women's Organization was founded in 2005. Women organized many activities and events under the umbrella of Yekîtiya Star. In 2009, women decided to celebrate IWD in the Derik city of NE Syria. The regime forces attacked the women but women showed great resistance against the regime forces.
Gulê Selmo was killed by the Baathist regime
Gulê Selmo, a member of Yekîtiya Star, also became the symbol of struggling women. She was killed on March 13, 2012, by the Baathist regime. Women carried her coffin on their shoulders and buried her. Gulê Selmo was the first martyr of Yekîtiya Star. After Gule Selmo, Kurdish women from Rojava promised to fulfill Gule Selmo's dream.
Call for “Democratic Autonomy” from women
In 2013, Kurdish women celebrated International Women’s Day in many cities such as Kobanî, Afrîn, and Cizre Region. They celebrated the 8th of March without any restrictions for the first time. On March 8, 2013, the women decided to strengthen the Democratic Autonomy and self-defense. On January 21, 2014, they declared “Democratic Autonomy” in the city of Cizre. The co-presidential system began to be implemented in every part of life and women celebrated International Women’s Day in Rojava on March 8 by taking to the streets to support democratic autonomy.
Women crossed the border in 2015
In 2015, ISIS attacked Kobanî to invade the city but they were defeated by the Women's Defense Units (YPJ). YPJ declared its victory by defeating ISIS in Kobanê on January 26, 2015. Members of the YPJ realized the dreams of women in NE Syria as they promised to Arin Mirxan. On March 8, 2015, women of Rojava and women of Nusaybin celebrated International Women’s Day together on the Qamishlo-Nusaybin border. Kurdish, Arab, and Syriac women celebrated their day by wearing their traditional clothes with the slogan, “Kobanî did not fall, women's struggle continues”. Meanwhile, women in Aleppo and Afrin celebrated the day with great enthusiasm.
Women celebrated the 8th March in many cities in 2016
Yekitiya Star announced its foundation in 2005 under the pressure of the Baathist regime. After holding its sixth congress in 2016, the name of Yekitiya Star was changed to its current name of Kongra Star. In 2016, women celebrated the 8th March in Tabqa, Hesekê, Qamishlo, Kobanî, and Afrin with the slogans “Women's Freedom is the Foundation of a Free Society”.
The message of freedom by Arab women
Arab women in Tabqa and Manbij were liberated from ISIS on August 15, 2016. Women sent a very important message to the whole world; they greeted the YPJ fighters and burned their burqas. They celebrated International Women’s Day in Afrin as free women.
Women protested isolation in 2019
On March 8, 2019, Kongra Star condemned the Turkish state's attacks on NE Syria. Thousands of people attended the celebrations across NE Syria. The women protested the isolation imposed upon Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan during the celebrations. Women of Afrin celebrated the 8th March in the Shehba refugee camp.
Celebrations in 2020
The revolution in Rojava was led by Kurdish, Arab, Syriac, Armenian, Circassian, and Turkmen women. On March 8, 2020, the women of Rojava demanded freedom. International Women’s Day was celebrated with the slogan “Our Struggle is Our Resistance” with the initiative of women's organizations such as Kongra Star, Syrian Women's Union, Sara Organization Against Gender-based Violence, Syrian Women's Council, NE Syria Women's Council. The women commemorated Hevrin Khalaf, Yade Eqide, and Amara Renas, who lost their lives in the Turkish attack on Serêkaniyê on October 9, 2019.
“Our struggle is the guarantee of the women's revolution”
Women of NE Syria started their protests on March 8, 2021, with the slogan “Our struggle is the guarantee of the women's revolution”. They celebrated International Women’s Day by holding many activities and events such as exhibitions, meetings, marches, and festivals. Last year, International Women’s Day was celebrated in all regions of NE Syria, including Shehba, Aleppo, Kobanî, Raqqa, Tebqa, Manbij, Deir ez-Zor, Qamishlo, Hesekê, and all other cities and towns.
Women will take to the streets for “freedom”
This year, women in Syria will take to the streets to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 with the slogan, “Together we will protect our revolution, defend our lands”. They will organize rallies in the Euphrates and Shehba regions. International Women’s Day will be celebrated in all cities, districts, and villages.
Tomorrow: Leyla Gulo: We built the women's revolution with a great struggle