New World Summit—Rojava, part I
16-17 Oct. 2015, Dêrik, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
Chair of the Committee for Women's Affairs, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
Women revolutionaries such as Sakine Cansiz played important roles within the revolutionary Kurdish movement from its very beginning and co-founded many of its organizations and institutions. The critique on patriarchy is one of the ideological foundations of the Rojava Revolution. Practically, the revolution has sought to enforce gender equality on all levels: from the sphere of politics, the economy and the need for self-defense.
The Rojava Revolution often refers to itself as a ‘women’s revolution’, due to prominent role of women as fighters as well as political representatives and organizers from 2011 on. This has translated in fully autonomous women’s cooperatives, political parties and self-defense organizations – the latter in the form of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). There are quota established for women’s participation in politics and all parties have a system of co-presidencies, meaning that there is always a female and male representative. These measures in essence are a form of self-defense against the culture of patriarchy, which the Kurdish women’s movement has identified as inherently intertwined with the culture of capitalism and the nation- state. The women’s movement claims the right to defend themselves both in a mental and physical sense against the abuses of patriarchy. In Rojava, this can be seen in the form of the autonomous YPJ fighting the ultra- patriarchal and violent culture of the Islamic State, but also in the manifold academies and women’s studies called “Jineology” (Science of Women) that strengthen the mental, social and political awareness of the role of women throughout history.
Omar is the Chair of the Committee for Women’s Affairs of Canton Cizîrê, Rojava. The Committee develops and supports laws and projects with the goal to improve the economic, social and political position of women within Rojava.
The New World Summit: Rojava, part I took place in the cultural centre Tev-Cand in Dêrik, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava on 16-17 October 2015. The summit was chaired by Judy Osse. Amina Omar's lecture was translated by Berivan during the summit and subtitled by Merel Eimers and Fahed Ibrahim.