Archive for the ‘Political Activism’ Category

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: Cenî – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace

International Women Daz March 09Our partner Cenî, Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace, has released a newsletter about actions of the Kurdish women’s movement in North Kurdistan (Turkey) and West Kurdistan (Syria) in May, including peace tents in Kurdish mountains and the first conference of DÖHK, the umbrella body of Kurdish women’s organisations.

The news were compiled before the protests and resistance against the Turkish government, its political Islam and anti-democratic attacks on the people started. Roj Women and Cenî stand with protestors as hundreds of Kurdish women and men are present in the protests in all parts of Turkey and North Kurdistan demanding democracy, justice and peace.

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DÖKH, the Democratic Freewomen Movement, (Demokratik Özgür Kadın Hareketi) will host its first Middle East conference in Amed (Diyarbakir) from 31 May to 2 June 2013. Roj Women will join DÖKH in this historical meeting.

The Middle Eastern geography that we live in goes through an immense and rapid process of political, social and economic change. While the systems predicated on denial and massacre of peoples, cultures, and historical and social values rapidly disintegrate, the stance and role of women in this disintegration process pose historical importance.

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CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has published a new a report summarizing views of fellow activists in the field of Women’s Rights in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Source: CPT

Kurdish Activists’ Observations of Women’s Rights in Iraqi Kurdistan between March 2012 and March 2013 and their hopes for the future” traces positive developments and areas where change is needed to secure the safety and equality of women in Iraqi Kurdistan.

While women’s rights activism is growing and gaining public recognition in Iraqi Kurdistan, problems such as discrimination in the medical and legal systems, honor killings and female genital mutilation remain. Some issues, including domestic violence and court bias, have been addressed by legislation, but not acted on. Women’s oppression results in, among other things, suicides or attempted suicide by about 300 women each year.

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan invites everyone to read the report, and specifically asks those in positions of authority in the region to act on its information and work for an equal and fair society for all people.

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Non-Governmental Organisations in Riha (Urfa) brought together the families of 25 soldiers and 25 guerillas who lost their lives during operations in Kurdistan at a dinner in order to contribute to the peace process. The families of soldiers and guerillas who sat side by side at the dinner said “Mothers should not cry any more, brothers should not kill each other”.

Source: Femînkurd

Governor Celalettin Güvenç who attended the dinner also said that a fresh new page needed to be turned, and “edi bese”, which means “enough” in Kurdish.

Governor of Urfa Celalettin Güvenç, Commissioner of Police Mehmet Likoğlu and representatives from NGOs also attended the peace dinner which was held at the Çamlık Restaurant and brought together 50 families in total. The families of dead soldiers and guerillas were welcomed with carnations at the dinner where the walls were decorated with slogans such as “A call for peace from Urfa, the hometown of Hz. İbrahim, friend of Allah, and the capital of friendship and brotherhood”,“Enough. Edi Bese”, “Mothers should not cry anymore”, “Our tears should be those of joy”.


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Roj Women’s Association joins PEN International in condemning the life sentence served in late January against writer, sociologist and feminist Pınar Selek.

Source: PEN

See Roj Women’s Assembly statement about this case (in Turkish) below.

Selek is accused of involvement in an explosion over 14 years ago, although she has been acquitted three times previously. The decision was also made despite the conclusions of numerous experts that the 1998 explosion was a tragic accident caused by a leaking gas canister. Detained for two and a half years before being freed pending trial, Selek is now living abroad and the hearing was in absentia. An arrest warrant has been issued against her.


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