Archive for the ‘Kurdish feminism’ Category

Roj Women has launched a revamped membership scheme for people passionate about Kurdish women’s rights. Want to support our work and benefit from special access to information, prices and more – keep reading!

You are probably familiar with the work of Roj Women. If not, read more about what we’ve done in the last two years:


Activity Report 2011-2012


Activity Report 2012-2013

Becoming a member means you’ll get free or discounted invitations to all our events (including upcoming cinema weekend and seminars with human rights defenders from Kurdistan!), quarterly email updates of Roj’s campaigning work, free copies of our publications and, of course, the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a fair cause.


Suggested annual membership fees are £20 for the employed and £12 for the unemployed. Email us to info@rojwomen.org or rojwomen@gmail.com to join us.

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Margaret Owen, a well-known human rights lawyer and women’s rights advocate has returned from a solidarity visit with women’s groups in Rojava, northern Syria.

Source: Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Ms Owen spent eight days in the region, which is also known as Western Kurdistan and is currently under the administration of a broad coalition of civil society and political organisations led by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). The region was largely peaceful until clashes with Al Qaeda affiliated groups began this year, and has seen a massive influx of Syrian internal refugees fleeing violence elsewhere in the country.

During her visit Ms Owen visited local initiatives, projects and programs led by women calling for peace, Kurdish self-determination and women’s rights. Among them were humanitarian groups, looking after nearly 200,000 internally displaced people (IPDs) without any international aid assistance.

Owen with Kurdish women in Rojava_Dec 2013

Ms Owen said: “The killing must stop. Humanitarian aid must go directly to Rojava. And all UN member states must stop providing arms to the regime, or the opposition, now so deeply infiltrated by Al Qaida militias.” (more…)

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Roj Women invites you to a panel discussion with one of the most prominent defenders of Kurdish and Turkish women human rights: Eren Keskin. Come and join the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Global Campaign!

Eren Keskin was one of the tens of women human rights defenders Roj Women interviewed as part of our research work on violence encountered by these advocates in Turkey (read the final publication ‘A woman’s struggle‘). Her tireless work has thrown light on the pervasive and widespread violence women endure under custody.



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An early event on 9 November will be followed by a workshop on 23 November. Roj Women is glad to work in coalition with various other Kurdish women’s groups to discuss the impact of war and militarization on women. All welcome!
16 days of activism against VAW London coalition event 2

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The female mayor of Nusaybin, Ayse Gokkan, has started a death fast among the mines between the border of Turkey and Syria.

Source: Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)

BDP MP fasting protest November 2013Ayşe Gökkan says: “by building if this wall of shame Turkey is not upholding the Ottowa Agreement which it is a signatory of. The wall is being constructed to maintain the minefield. The building of this wall is a crime. Despite the fact that I am the local mayor, I was not informed of this construction. The decision to build this wall is a political decision. This wall is being constructed to further divide the people of Kurdistan. This wall is not being built for ‘security reasons’ or ‘to prevent trafficking’, it is being built to separate the Kurdish people”.


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A new research project by Roj Women will be launched in Autumn 2013. With the financial support of the Feminist Review Trust, Roj women will aim to further the study of the Kudish women’s movement. We are now accepting applications from research consultants. See the Terms of Reference here.

This is a key moment for the Kurdish people and their movement for liberation due to the peace process recently started in Turkey and the Syrian conflict. After decades of women’s participation in the Kurdish struggle is only now that feminism is starting to shape within the movement. Kurdish and feminist women’s organizations like Roj Women see this as an ideal opportunity to advance feminist perspectives within the movement on the one hand, and to visibilize these efforts among feminist and women’s movements internationally on the other hand.

fr trust logo

This project wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of our donors.


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Source: The Independent, written by Loveday Morris

As a nine-year-old growing up in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Awezan Nuri narrowly escaped female genital mutilation. “My mother was 12 when she was mutilated,” says the 31-year-old women’s rights campaigner, who is also a renowned poet. “She has told me about the terrible pain, how much she bled that night and how ashamed she was to tell her family she was hurting. She couldn’t talk to her mother, because her mother was the one who’d taken her to be cut. She felt alone and scared.”


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