As internationalist women who came to Rojava/Northern Syria to join the women revolution, we are sending our greetings and solidarity to all women, feminists and LGBTI* people who are struggling against patriarchy worldwide.
Rising up against violence on women means that we are rising up against everything that violates our bodies, our lives, our freedom and our dignity. We are rising up against violence in families and relationships, against rape, against feminicides, against patriarchal domination and exploitation.
Violence on women can not be understood by focusing only on a punch in the face or an specific rape case. We need to understand the system that is behind. Rape culture and violence against women is rooted in a system of domination and exploitation which developed throughout thousands of years, and is now present in the form of capitalist patriarchy. The mentality created by this system causes the abuse and exploitation of women’s bodies, women’s labour, nature and all living things – violating others for self-profit.
Rape culture is a reality everywhere in the world. Bodies of women are seen as a public commodity and women’s will as something which can easily be ignored. We can see it in public spaces where women are under attack every single day, as well as inside the privacy of relationships. A lot of women are facing domestic violence or street harassment, and face it alone because it is considered their own problem instead of a deeper structural one.
In Şengal or Afrin rape became once again the weapon of fascist and jihadist forces, which aimed to destroy the strength and moral of the whole society. Currently, the Turkish state is again attacking the democratic self-organisation of the people in Northern Syria. These attacks are direct attacks on the women’s revolution. But, women are also resisting: it is the women who are defending society against the attacks of islamists and Turkish fascism, it is the women who are pushing for a change in mentality and it is the women carrying out the self-organization in all areas of society. With the women of Rojava we are learning, we are listening to each other, building up friendships, strong alliances and fighting side by side for our liberation. Our weapons are our will, our knowledge, our sisterhood, our solidarity, our ideology and our legitime self-defense. Together we are willing to overcome our fears and to find strength and belief in each other.
Our answer against violence on women must be women’s self-organization. Just through organising ourselves we are able to build up alternatives and, just through organising we are also able to defend them. Let’s take responsibility to generate change, by being honest to each other and criticize each other in solidarity so that the basis of our struggle becomes strong and unifying. Let’s deepen the knowledge about our history, identities and methods of resistance. Let’s organize ourselves in assemblies and build up women communes, cooperatives and self-defence units. Let’s share our experiences and defend what we are creating together.
We are against the occupation of women’s lives and the occupation of liberated spaces, so we are rising up for Afrin, as a symbol of women’s revolution and against the fascist occupation by the Turkish state!
We are defending the women’s revolution, therefore the attacks against Rojava/Northern Syria are attacks against all of us. !
Against violence, we use self-defence because we want each other alive, powerful and free!
Jin, jiyan, azadi!