“Women, life, freedom.” This was the slogan of the marches that began Saturday in the Kurdish Syrian towns of Kobani and Tal Abyad, shouted by hundreds of men who have joined the initiatives organized by the Kurdish women of Rojava. While feminist NGOs, associations and women in the rest of the Middle East have for decades chosen to mobilize on March 8, in northern Syria the internationalism that has taken hold of the Kurdish revolution has in recent years led to events being organized for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Here, Nov. 25 has a special meaning: Individual and domestic violence has become collective, a product of the Manichean and patriarchal ideology of the Islamic State. This year, the women of Rojava have launched debates and discussions in local communities, the heart of the democratic confederalism that since 2011 has been lived out in practice here.
Roundtables and symposia were held in the major Kurdish cities, in Tal Amir, Hasakeh, Kobanî and Tal Abyad. Just a few days ago, in Raqqa, newly liberated from Islamist occupation, the victory against ISIS was dedicated by the Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ to women everywhere in the world.