Women’s Initiative for Peace urges ALL women’s organizations struggling for peace worldwide to launch actions and organize demonstrations on Sunday, September 28th (and if this date is too early, any time before or on October 1st) wherever you are located.
The images of Kurdish female fighters of YPJ have been widely circulated in various media covering the war against Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) in Rojava. Celebrated for the bravery, the Kurdish female guerrilla force has been the forefront in the struggle against patriarchy and against the Islamic State’s targeting, slaughtering and enslaving of women. The women in Rojava, who are not only fighters, but also peacekeepers, leaders, or simply women, are much more than figures that terrify the IS gangs, who believe that they won’t be rewarded with heaven if killed by a woman in battle. They stand for a hope for a different form of governance in the region. Yet, Rojava now is facing a massacre. IS gangs has besieged Kobanê on three separate fronts.
Founded in May 2009, when the peace process between the government of Turkey and the Kurdish guerrilla forces started, Women’s Initiative for Peace has been calling on women to take action for peace, declaring that “We have words to say and the strength to develop the resolution.” They are today calling for all women from all around the world to join them, adding to their strength in support of the women of Rojava, in the struggle for peace against the war of the IS.
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EMERGENCY CALL TO ALL WOMEN!
Please Organize ACTIONS Internationally against War in Rojava (Northern Syria) and/or SPREAD THE WORD!!!
THIS IS NO WAY TO PEACE!!!
WE ARE CALLING UPON YOU TO JOIN US, AS WOMEN, IN SOLIDARITY IN THE NAME OF PEACE, OF KOBANÊ, AND AGAINST OUTRIGHT MASSACRE!
Kobanê, one of the three autonomous Kurdish enclaves (part of Rojava, i.e. Western Kurdistan) in Northern Syria, on the border with Turkey, is once again under attack by IS gangs. The Islamic State (IS – formerly known as ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has besieged Kobanê on three separate fronts. And the world has been watching. Kobanê is not a state, its declaration of autonomy is not recognized by the international community and yet people live and die there. This most recent war machine has been unleashed upon us by international actors, as part of a design to reshape the entire region in line with their interests. It is also aided and abetted by the state of Turkey; and, as such, is now the main fire power in the attempt to destroy this autonomous zone set up by Kurdish people and, along with it, hopes for a different form of governance in the region. It is also thus threatening to end the peace process between the government of Turkey and the Kurdish guerrilla forces (the PKK – Kurdistan Workers’ Party).
As war is once again mounting, right on the south of the Turkish border, many have been killed, and thousands have been forced to migrate. But resistance against these attacks also continues with increasing participation, as people flock to defend this ideal of free, autonomous governance. The state of Turkey, on the other hand, has been lobbying internationally for the establishment of a buffer zone where the Kurdish autonomous region currently exists. We want the world to know that Rojava, the Kurdish zone in Northern Syria, is NOT empty land; and that hundreds of thousands of people have NOT left their homes to flee into Turkey. These numbers have been grossly exaggerated by the state of Turkey, in efforts to make the world believe this land is deserted, and can be made into a buffer zone, controlled by international soldiers rather than the people of Rojava. This is yet another attempt to shape the region according to powerful interests.
Moreover, women are once again in the middle of this war; they have been forced out of their homes, and their bodies have been made into battlefields. Women have also taken up arms to defend their families and these lands they call home; and they now call upon each and every one of us to rise up against this atrocity, and to stand with them.
We, women who hear and wish to respond to this call, do so with the awareness that the IS, and the mentality of the international powers that support and have created it pose a direct threat to all of us, to all of our bodies as women anywhere in this world. At the same time, we realize that this attack targets the peace process in Turkey, as well as the ideal of peace in this entire region, and the world at large. Moving the war to the south of the border is no way to peace! A mentality that collaborates with the IS, which sells women in areas it conquers as slaves, is no way to peace! This is why we need to build a world-wide women’s solidarity for a peace in which our voices are heard, for all of our sakes, against this mentality that legitimizes slaughtering and enslaving women!
In order to voice our demand for peace more powerfully, we came together as numerous women’s organizations and women from political parties and mass organizations in Turkey. We are now calling on ALL women’s organizations struggling for peace world-wide to launch actions, organize demonstrations, simultaneously with us on Sunday, September 28 (and if this date is too early, any time before or on October 1) wherever you are located. Whilst so many international scenarios are being played out in the Middle East, geographical distance unfortunately cannot mean being on outside of this war. These attacks target all women, around the world. Hence, wherever you are, please organize some kind of action addressing the UN, the Turkish government, or your own governments! And please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help augment our voices against this massacre, against this international plan to vacate Rojava and end all efforts to build peace! Add your strength to ours in this struggle for peace!
Women’s Initiative for Peace, Turkey.