Women's endless war: Against Femicide

The world's longest and endless war is the war launched by the male-dominated system against women. This war, which has been carried out intensely for five thousand years, also forms the longest-lasting genocide in human history. The number of killed women in the ongoing genocide cannot be estimated. However, the name of the war carried out by the male-dominated system against women is not mentioned. It is being denied. If it is named, it will be accepted that none of the male violence is individual but systematic. This systematic situation is called extermination of women or femicide. This is the first part of our file on the endless war against women. We will draw attention to the ongoing extermination of women and we will include the struggle of women against this war in the file.
News Center-Extermination of women or femicide does not just refer to the physical murder of women. Women face male violence in every sphere of life. Women are not safe anywhere. The structural, physical, psychological, economic, or sexual dimension of male violence threatens women's lives at any moment. Risk is always a part of women's lives. Every woman faces gender stereotypes. Every woman can be subjected to physical attack at any time. Every woman can be raped at any time. Every woman can be murdered by a man at any time. And every woman can face the attack carried out by those ‘closest’ to her. These risks are even higher for women and girls living in conflict zones and for refugee women and girls.
The most intense violence in the world is male violence against women. Women are killed mostly by male violence. How can we call this systematic war against women? If it is not extermination of women or femicide, how should we call it? However, the concept of the extermination of women or femicide does not aim to give a name to this war having no limit. The concept of the extermination of women or femicide reveals the level of this war including all forms of male violence.
It is not fate or inevitable
We can see that the need for women's self-defense is being felt more and more all over the world in these times, in which male violence is becoming more and more brutal, particularly leader women are wanted to be eliminated.
In other words, women are more aware that the main way to struggle against femicide is to provide women's self-defense and take measures against it. From Kurdistan to Brazil, Egypt to Kenya, India to Poland, women are developing their self-defense by understanding that male violence is not a fate or inevitable.
Women's defense becomes stronger
In the women’s struggle all around the world, local-universal dynamics works very well. A struggle waged by women in a part of the world can be gains of all women around the world. In this sense, the self-defense force that has been raised in Rojava under the leadership of Kurdish women as of 2012 has been accepted as a significant development. The largest male organization, the nation-states always aim to leave the peoples, particularly women unprotected under the name of the “monopoly on violence” and always criminalize social self-defense. Therefore, if women develop their self-defense against all forms of male violence in different regions today, this also means breaking the taboos and perceptions assumed by the states. In parallel with or as a result of the femicide, women's self-defense is also growing stronger. This indicates how women’s consciousness is raising. In this file, we are going to show you the war against women and women’s struggle against it all around the world.
World War I
Rape was used as a tactic of war during the World War I. During the German invasion of Belgium and France, numerous women were subjected to rape by soldiers.  Commissions were set up to work on cases but they failed to collect how many women were subjected to rape. Moreover, when the countries agreed at the end of the war, what women had faced was ignored.
The largest genocide in history
In 1915, the Ottoman Empire carried out one of the largest mass genocide in history. The genocide has been denied. More than one million Armenians, nearly five hundred thousand Syriacs, and Chaldeans were killed. One dark side of this genocide was about women. Women were killed. Their bodies were tortured. They were raped, they were forced into prostitution and they were taken captive suffered lifelong traumas.
There are massacres in the history of the Ottoman Empire. The genocide that started with the extermination of Christian men continued with the deportation of women and children to the Syrian deserts. The Tehcir Law (deportation or forced displacement law) turned into “journeys of death”. There were women, children, and old people in the caravans. The number of abducted women is unknown, but it is more than thousands. Women were killed on the roads; some women committed suicide due to torture they faced.
Thousands of women and girls were taken away from their families during the deportation. The abducted and Islamized women were forcibly assimilated. Turkey hasn’t opened its archives to public opinion yet. According to some historians who conducted research on the genocide, about 700,000 Christian women were killed in Anatolia between 1915 and 1918. 350,000 of them were killed or died of starvation while being deported by the Tehcir Law.
Maryam Çilingiryan and Khanum Ketenciyan were among women who left their stamps on history during the Armenian Genocide in 1925. They formed a women’s unit consists of 25 women in Urfa province and organized the resistance. Women fought against massacres by forming resistance units in many cities of Anatolia.
Nazis and women
It is known that German soldiers raped thousands of Russian and Jewish women during World War II. The number of people killed in the Holocaust is unknown, but the number is estimated to be over five million. Two million of them were women. Women faced torture and were forced to work as slaves in ghettos, where living conditions were miserable. They were used as guinea pigs in Nazi poison gas experiments. Thousands of women fought against fascism and femicide. Women became a target not only because of their gender and ethnicity but also because of their political backgrounds. Women carried out the first and only mass civil resistance against the Nazis. Women who were married to Jews and called themselves 'Aryan' women organized a protest for days in Rosenstrasse to save their husbands.
Liri Gero was one of the resisting women. She was involved with the resistance against the Nazi occupation in Albania when she was only 13 years old. Along with 67 women, she joined the ranks of the Albanian National Liberation Movement and then the 16th Attacking Brigadethe 16th Attack Brigade. While fighting against the German forces, she was wounded. Without the possibility to move, she continued fighting until she lost her senses. The Nazis found her unconscious and killed her. The 68 women are still remembered with respect today.
Tsola Nincheva Dragoycheva, also known under the pseudonym Sonya, was called the nightmare of the Nazis. Along with her, millions of Bulgarian women took part in the anti-fascist war.
Freddie Oversteegen and her sister, and friend Hannie Schaft worked to sabotage the Nazi military presence in the Netherlands. They were also good assassins and saboteurs.
Many women, women held in camps and others were at the forefront of the resistance.
TOMORROW: Times are changing but femicide remains the same