New World Summit—Rojava, part I
16-17 Oct. 2015, Dêrik, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
Legislative Council, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
While diversity in terms of language, political convictions and religious beliefs are protected and celebrated as part of the pluriformity in the region, the Social Contract protects the rights of children and women in particular through a secular system. Women have demanded and have been guaranteed equal participation in political life, equal rights within marriages and in relation to dowries and heritage, while children are protected from arranged marriages. Faced with the violent patriarchy and fundamentalism in the form of the Islamic State, a pluriform but principled system of secular self-governance is a key pillar of the Rojava Revolution.
The legislative foundation of the Democratic Self-Administration in Rojava is located in the Social Contract, which was written by all the peoples of the region with the declaration of autonomy in 2012. Its first page states, “In pursuit of freedom, justice, dignity, and democracy and led by principles of equality and environmental sustainability, the Charter proclaims a new social contract, based upon mutual and peaceful co-existence and understanding between all strands of society. It protects fundamental human rights and liberties and reaffirms the peoples’ right to self-determination.” Crucial aspects of the contract revolve around the notion of secularism, and include the separation of religion from the political sphere, the banning marriages under the age of eighteen years, the banning of female circumcision and polygamy, and securing non-discrimination and equality between men and women, while recognizing the cultural, religious and political diversity of the region, amongst others through the recognition of all languages in the region, such as Arabic, Kurdish and Syrian. Mashosh is an elected advisor to the Legislative Council of the Cizîrê canton of 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. Akram Mashosh' lecture was translated by Talal Awaid during the summit and subtitled by Merel Eimers and Fahed Ibrahim.