THE KURDISH WOMENS’S MOVEMENT

Even though the concept of the Kurdish women movement has been taken into consideration since 1980s, in respect of organization its first existence backs to 1919s. The Kurdistan ‘Teali’ Association (Kurdistan Teali Cemiyeti) which was established in the first quarter of 20th century was known the first sample of Kurdish organization. At the same time, while national consciousness and struggle was more dominant in the study of Kurdish women, in following period, the left ideology which was developed in Turkey reformatted this idea as socialist Kurdish women. At the understanding of struggle holding in this period, between 1965-1980, Women liberation was adopted with the liberation of socialism and National identities. After the coup d’état of 12 September, 1980, most of the Kurdish and leftist movements were liquidated and PKK which was organized itself with Marxist-Leninist ideology, declared war, in the name of Kurds, against to Turkey. With the beginning of this war, many Kurdish women joined the ranks of the organization so that Kurdish women’s matters were moved to mountains.

Kurdish women movement which was strengthened their position in the PKK; showed its effect on legal and illegal ground in a short time. Consequently, national identity consciousness and women consciousness have been formed on the Kurdish women in the legal ground and militant organization. While some part of these formations has been developed by the PKK initiative, the others established their own feminist organizations with a non-PKK understanding and even criticizing PKK. In the related article, relations of Kurdish women with national identity and its evolution process from nationalism to feminism is going to be tried to explain on the stage of organizations and understandings.

Kurdistan Women Movement, National consciousness, DDKAD, PKK, Feminism

INTRODUCTION

Women are one of the important subject who reflects feelings, thoughts, standpoints, culture and consciousness of society. One of the most important dimensions of analyzing society which is to look at women, is directly proportional to considering of women. While women is so important for a society, unfortunately, women‘s position is not sufficiently understood and they are subordinated. In the Kurdish society, Even though patriarchal codes, strengthened by traditional identity, are more powerful on many issues, women are never in a passive position. Furthermore, we can say that Kurdish women have an active role in many field of life. The reason of holding Kurdish women in the foreground is not due to of contemporary or progressive of Kurds but because of traditional respect that roots goes back to Neolithic culture.

Kurdish is a Middle-East community that has more than 30 million population (according to 1992 figures) and they are living in the middle East and different places around the world without having own state. If the current figures to be taken into consideration, it is going be seen that the currently Kurdish community is more than 40 million. As no concrete data about the number of population of women, it is too difficult to give numeric result, but the present women population is estimated to be less than half of Kurdish population. Even though Kurds have a long cultural and political history, they constantly faced more difficulties in their geography and had to fight against their neighbors such as Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Also, today, they have a struggle against to some countries where Kurds live under their sovereignty.

Another important point in the Kurdish social history is Kurdish women’s role in the wars. Although Kurdish community has had a patriarchal culture, Kurdish women have attended to wars with men, sometimes behind of war and sometimes side by side, for the same purpose. Zarife and Yaşar were well known women fighters in the Kurdish history. While Zarife was fighting at Koçgiri Rebellion with her husband Alişer, ‘Yaşar xanım’ ,too, attended war of Agri rebellion with her husband İhsan Nuri Dersimi for a long time. About this subject Naci Kutlay pointed out that, ‘‘I learnt that some other women, apart from ‘‘Yaşar xanım’’, were attended to Agri rebellion but I only reached name of three of them who are Firuze, Asiye, and Hediye.’’ As Kutlay stated that many Kurdish women, in contrary to many women of the Middle-East, participated most of the national struggle with men in the same side.

Kurdish women struggle in the political arena has won an official status for the first time in 1919 with establishing of Kurdistan women Community(Kürt Kadınları Teali Cemiyeti). From the beginning of the twentieth century until the 1980s, the status of Kurdish women’s in society had a nationalistic codes with the sacred imagine of women that brings peace and respect, if necessary fighting, breed, and maintaining the continuance of nation. Because of her fertility character, Kurdish women’s respect is a heritage remained her from Neolithic period. After the 1960s, developing of leftist movements in the Turkey and in the world showed its effect on majority of society and Kurdish women as well. Within this period, Kurdish women who had been organized in DDKO, formed themselves with the name of DDKAD. Discourses and purpose of DDKAD was not different from the earlier traditional-nationalist discourses. Because, as before, DDKAD was thinking that women had to struggle for independence of nation and freedom of Proletariat class. After the 12 September coup D’état, with the prohibition of the DDKAD Kurdish women activities kept in silence for a while then the new Kurdish women dynamism emerged with different names, the most famous of them is women in PKK.

In the recent Kurdish history, exposure of genus awareness in Kurdish women and the first feminist organization in this direction has been realized with the PKK movement. From the stage of foundation up to1990s, PKK who approached to women with Marxist-Leninist ideology, was defining Kurdish women as a fighter who had to struggle with men for revolution and independence of the country. In this time, as many of Kurds were sent to prison, killed and their human rights were banned a great number of Kurdish women went to mountains. As a result of this, common feelings have been existed among Kurdish women and this situation led to a creation of collective Kurdish identity. With the new collective identity, besides of national consciousness, gender awareness has also enhanced in the Kurdish women. This consciousness which was developed in the Military and civilian areas with the effect of PKK, was organized and institutionalized in the later years. With this phenomenon of institutionalization, Kurdish Feminism has been formed and developed after 1993s.

The first traces of feminism and related organizations occurred firstly under the effect of PKK and then consist independently. With these organizations Kurdish women who was under the influence of Nationalist discourse, handled its own gender issue for the first time on the light of feminist perspective. The process, began with the discussion in the Kurdish women, led to establishing of the armed women organization PJA that was defining its approaches ,regarding women, as a version of new world order’s theories with the compose of Democratic Civilization and Feminism. In this article, how Kurdish women are in a relationship with Nation-Nationalist ideology and its evolution process from traditional background to feminism, especially after 1980, will be examined.

NATIONALIST CODES IN THE EARLY PERIOD OF KURDISH WOMEN MOVEMENT

As Ottoman Empire lost continuously its power against to west, this regression forced to follow more centrist policies and as a result, many rebellions emerged in the Kurdish geography. Rebellions, starting against to Ottomans, accelerated process of Kurds’ national identity (ego) and also brought the developments and dissemination of national consciousness. Rapidly growing national consciousness in the Kurdish geography was composed of region and nationalism. During and after World War I, The predominant thought, at the some Kurd intellectuals, was to obtain independence and Kurdish modernization. However, other intellectuals, who agreed on Ittihad-i Osmaniye, were defending a new Ottomanizm which is based on ‘the worldwide Muslim community’ (ümmet). The basic common point at these different movements is that Kurds, who have different ethnic identity from Turks, should act under the light of National interests. This belief showed its effect between the years 1900 – 1930 on some organizations such as Azadi , Kurdistan Teali Cemiyeti and Xoybun. Even though these organizations’ first aim was to defend National interests, they also referred to women problems.

In her related study, Handan Cagayan refers to this subject as follows; ‘‘one of the writer of Jin magazine ,Memduh Selim Bey says in epitome ‘ One of the indicator of civilization is the position and achievements of women. In civilized society, women are half of the nation. Any concessions given to men, importance, respect or even more should be given to women. Also at their another artical Memduh Selim and Aziz Yamulki mention that, ‘ In the development and progress of nation , it is important to educate children at the best way and also with the national values. And on this subject, the most important role is mothers’. As M.Selim and A.Yamulki stressed in their articles, the main duty of women was defined as to serve National interests. At the same time, at the most of the national movements developing old part of Ottoman, women’s first duty is defined as duty of her own nation except for women struggle. While nation and women struggle were carried out collectively At the Armenian Women Movement, at the Kemalist modernization women was specially educated to form a homogeneous national identity and country.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, most of Kurdish intellectuals’ who defend Ittihad-i Osmaniye and independence state, approach to women was almost the same and it was traditional nationalism. This developing nationalist discourse over time improved among the Kurdish intellectuals and found expression in the pronunciation of Kurdish women.

As noted in the above paragraph that this approach was the Nation-State’s nationalism. While Some Kurdish women in the 19th century personally ruled their tribal or family as leader, others ruled after the death of their husbands for a long time. In that period ‘‘Kara Fatima’’ who was the famous of one that she went to Ottoman palace with his 300 riders in order to developing diplomatic relations with sultan. Kara Fatima, the name was most often mentioned in Western literature, was being called as Amazon, Kurdish Tribal Chief, the Kurdish princess or the hero of Kurdistan. When K. Fatima came to Istanbul she met with Sultan in palace. During the meeting, sultan asked to K. Fatima that ‘‘someone like you showing such bravery how can not speak Turkish? Fatima gives the following reply to the question: Sultan I know, if you knew Kurdish you would say that there is no need to use Turkish.’’

Fatima’s answer to sultan in this conversation was the significant clue of growing Kurdish nationalism among the Kurdish community.

Moreover, after the Iraqi Kurdistan tribal CAF’s leader Osman Agha’s dead, his wife Adüle, who was respected person in the Iraqi Kurds, ruled own tribe for a long time. Except for Kara Fatma and Adüle, Helikma who was the member of Bedirxanies family, governed the Başkale, Meryem who was member of Nehri sheikhs, were the other honorable figures in the Kurdish women. All of these women leaders had nationalist ideas and they were disseminating Kurdish culture and traditional nationalism among Kurds.

Before and after the first world war, together with the Kurdish nationalism in the shaping of developing nation-state cases, as Kurdish intellectuals adopted nationalism, women has been seen the main component of modern nation state. In the period in question, although growing nationalism had equipped with the Patriarchal codes, this was also adopted by Kurdish women. The basic theme in this discourse which was accepted and put into words by the Kurdish women was a profile of fighters and leader Kurdish women.

The role of women in the process of nation building and the Kurdish Women Organization (Kürt kadın Teali Cemiyeti)

As a result of First Word war, defating of Otoman empire led to the idea of building of kurdistan both between Kurdish intellectuals and society. In accordance with this opinion, both before and after the first world war, some political organizations, such as Kurdish Union and Progress Party (1908), Kurdish ‘Teâvün’ and Progress Party (1908), Kurdish Nesr-i ‘maarrif progress party (1910), Kurdistan ‘Muhibleri’ Association (1912), Kurds ‘Hevi-umut’ Association ( 1912), Kurdistan Association (1918), the Kurdistan ‘Teali’ party (1919), and the Kurdish National Party (1920), and certain newspapers such as Kürt ‘Teavün’ and Progress newspaper (1908), Kurdistan (1908-1909), ‘Roji Kurd – Hetawî Kurd’ (1913), life (1918), and Kurdistan (1919 ), were established and began to operate.

Even though the main theme of kurdish press was about education, Culture and the way in the future that kurds should follow, it was albeit less being touched role of women in society. The real news related Kurdish women were more taken part in the western press such as The illsutrated London news, Globus, Le Tour du, Monde ve Svenska Familj-Journalen rather than Kurdish and Ottoman media. At that time Kurdish women was named as ‘Amazon’ due to of her fighter features and heroism.

Another comments about Kurdish women in the western media were that there was not ‘haremlik-selamlık’ betwen women and man as being in Turkish,Arabic or Persian culture, Kurdish women was on a leader position and they prefered to wear traditional clothes peciular to her culture instead of wearing veil or other religional costumes. In the same period Kurdish intellectual Memduh Selim who was questioning the understanding of religionalizm and its relation with nationalism in Kurdish society, pointed out that ; ‘ Kurds, whose obedience to religion was adopted by all everyone, nationalized everything. Also we see the internalization of nationalizm in all ways of their religion duties, althoug they depend too much on their religion. In this discourse, Memduh Selim tried to explain effect of understanding of religionizm in the Kurdish women.

As wearing national clothes, Kurdish women’s domination on Kurdish language and being the bearer of the authentic culture were making Kurdish women the central dynamic force of Kurdish nationalizm and process of nation-building. Since dominant thought on the Kurdish intellectuals of the period was national vaules, kurdish women’s ‘class (sınıfsal) ’ and social status were overshadowed.

So it can be said that the project of Nation-Sate which was aimed by Kurdish intellectuals, even if it was too vague, further strengthened the dominant patriarchal understanding on the Kurdish women.

At the begining of the twentieth century, the first studies related to Kurdish women who was awarned as a political, cultural and social force, was started by some elit and natioanlist women. As a result of this study, Kurdish women’s Organization(KWO), Within the Kurdistan ‘Teali’ organization , was establihed in 1919 by some kurdish women living in İstanbul which was the capital of Ottoman empire also the center of kurdish natioanlizm. Association’s name dated in historical sources as ‘Teali Nisvan-i Kurdi (Kürt kadınları yüceltme cemiyeti) and Kurdish women organization (Kürt kadınlerı yükseltme). Even though kurdish women participated to studies on the name of Kurdish women organization, organically they efforted on developing national consciousness of kurdish society. Also some Kurdish intellectuals such as Abdullah Cevdet, Memduh Selim, Ebdurrehim Rehmi, Yamulki Aziz, Qasim Amin, and Isaac Sukuti, deliberately handled Kurdish Women Organization and in this accordiance they tried to create a modern and nationalist identity. Most of the assessments about association were made by men and the purpose of association was pointed out in the ‘Jîn’ Magazine : ‘To provide and develop Kurdish Women with a modern mentality, to achive social reforms, to help orphan women and children who fall into poverty because of migration and catastrophic deads.

In short , the goal of association was to get better social life for Kurds. Even if we do not have enough information about association’s political activities, Encum Yamulki who made the inaugural of association, said that ‘Kurds are not against to Turks , yet like other communities Kurds wants to get their rights.’ The other Kurdish women, who attended to opening of association, said that ‘We will do everything whatever we should do for Kurdish people.

During her speech Encumi Yamulki, who also mentioned to cooperation between Kurds, thanked to all participations on behalf of Kurdish nation and continued to her speech about the real aim of Kurdish Women Association. End of the her speech, she clearly said that ‘We formed this association with the nationalist aims. During the studies of association , members constantly emphasized to Turkishness to show their goodwill. Most of the speeches made by members of association, beside of the goodwill, they pointed out that, as Kurdishness is a different nation from Turkishness, some of their national demands should be accepted natural by neighbors.

According to many discourse, Dr Encume Yamulki is the president of Kurdish women Organization. But a news in Istiklal newspaper dated 9/7/1919, wrote that Mrs Amine, the wife of Ottoman’s Sweeden Consolate Mr Sherif Pasha, accepted the presidency of Kurdish women Organizations. It is still not certain that who was the real president of Kurdish Women Organization.

Statute of the association consists of 46 items. The forth item of Kurdish Women Organization’s statute mention that ‘In order to achieve the aims of Kurdish Women Organization, it is expected that all members should utilize from all their own opportunities in favor of organization and make propaganda on behalf of the association. The continuation of this article, the meaning of propaganda which was called ‘telkinat’ by members, was clearly explained. In other words, propaganda aims Kurdish National Liberation. When other items of Association were reviewed; it can be seen that there is crucial emphasize on Kurdish nationalism, also it is expected in the items that Kurdish women should educate themselves in this direction. Even if in the Kurdish Women association some women studies were taken into consideration, basically Kurdish national liberation was targeted.

THE FORMATİON OF THE LEFTİST KURDISH WOMEN MOVEMENT AND DDKAD

During and after the First World War Kurds who fought with Turks, also took part along with Ataturk and his friends to achieve The Turkish War of Independence. In the period up to the stage of foundation of the republic, although some Kurdish intellectuals and tribes were in a suspicious against Ataturk, most of Kurds supported him during the liberation war. In response to support of Kurds, Ataturk forgot all of his promises to the Kurds and tried to insist his far-fetched nationalistic modernization project on majority of society to get accept it. Kurdish opposition against Ataturk’s racist and far-fetched modernization project was suppressed in a very bloody way by the New Turkish Republic. At the same period, Maurer who was The New York Post reporter in Turkey was noted in article which dated in April 1946, ‘The Kurds in Turkey was put the sword and exiled such a bloody way that the Turkish government can now say; ‘The Kurdish problem in Turkey is not possible.’

During the period of Kamalist Regime, while all Kurds were under the great pressure and violence, Kurdish women were faced double pressure and violence of Official regime and patriarchal system. Situation of Kurdish women in Turkey was slightly changed with the influence of developing leftist movements in Turkey and the World. After 1965, Turkish worker’s party and some leftist organizations received Kurdish rights in their statutes. In a short time, these developments showed its effect on Kurdish community and therefore many Kurdish women participated to leftist movements. During this period, Kurdish women also met their national and gender identity. Even though Kurds in the period of 1965-1980, generally, took part in the Turkish leftist organization, this situation gradually, especially after 1975, was changed and Kurdish women took part in the leftist and national Kurdish movements.

Strengthening of the legal and illegal leftist movements in Turkey led to Kurdish women, especially Alevi women, to create new organizational fields. The most important point to mention here is; ‘the first priority of Kurdish women, who organized themselves both in the framework of Turkish and Kurdish movements, was to serve proletarian revolution instead of give too much emphasis on gender matters. Discussion in the period of leftist, while women was seen as men’s ‘Comrade’, women issue was accepted as a matter which would be resolved after the revolution.

When majority of Kurds separated from the Turkish leftist movements, Kurdish women, too, acted in the same direction and formed their own women organizations. During this period, DDKAD (Revolutionary Democratic Women’s Association) which was the first leftist Kurdish women movement was founded in 1977 in Istanbul by some Kurdish women students. During the period of DDKAD, Nezîré Cibo who was the Kurdish politician, mentioned in his remembrances;

The general Chairman of DDKAD was Dr. Işın Işcan. The main orientation and mission of the Organization was to operate ‘native Tongue and national liberation studies. I can say that the slogan of ‘education in mother tongue’ at first was voiced by the DDKAD. Intensive work was carried in accordance with this slogan (motto) and literacy courses were opened for women. At that time, in order to discuss national and women matters, many conferences, panels and meetings were held by DDKAD. Although the Association was influenced by the period of socialist ideas, essentially it had nationalist feelings and thoughts.

As Cibo noted, even though DDKAD accepted and acted with accordance a socialist ideology, it is understood that Kurds in that period aimed a national liberation struggle. During his interview with Nezîré Cibo, Dr. Sevinc Isık who was the general chairman of DDKAD described the activities of Association as below;

After the 1980s, while leftism quickly disseminated within the university youth in Turkey, also in Kurdistan a left-national line spread around a national request which was based on leftism and socialism in the Kurdish university youth. Kurdish nationalism in socialist circles became increasingly overweight and kurdish youth or students needed new organizations which could be response their requests. ‘Liberty Road movement’ (Özgürlük Yolu) one of whose branch was in the turkish organizations, was not able to meet with students’ approval. In these conditions DDKAD was founded. Youth’s and women’s demands on separately organizing were right. But there is no model or convenient conditions to meet their requests. The model which was prepared before was taken and tried to adapt to conditions. In short, women organization launched.

After a short time from the date of establishment , DDKAD was able to achive to reach to majority of community. As a result of intensive studies, some branches of association were opened and it accelerated its organize. During this studies, many Kurdish women were educated. Moreover; organizational and professional training services were offered to Kurdish women. Betul, one of the former director of DDKAD, explained association’s activities in one of her interview in Roza magazine, as follows:

We never thought DDKAD as a women movement that nor it was so. Because it was subsidiary of a political organization. However, our studies was autonomous in themselves. Theoretical or ideological we were not independent. We were depend on DDKO ( Revolution Democrat Culture Organization ). Practically we were acting independently. Our purpose was to advance women’s national, social and personal level. In association, national and ideological concerns were our priority.

Even though DDKAD was an association consisting of women, its decision were directly depended on DDKD. Except for some routine activities, association was giving a kurdish national struggle with the perspectives of socilalism instead of so much touch on women’s problems which were derived from because of her sexual differences. At that time in DDKAD, there is not any feminist discourse even, as director of DDKAD Betül claims; Feminism was being defined as selfish ideology by them.

In the period between 1970-80, except for DDKAD, Although some women organizations were established by the certain socialist movements such as Alarizgari (Liberty flag), Özgürlük yolu (Liberty Road) and Kawa, their first aim was ,too, to handle Kurdish issue instead of women’s problems. As being in the DDKAD, these organizations also postponed women’s matters to the next stage of socialist revolution.

As Hatice Yasar, one of the first socialist Kurdish women and also a Rizgari’s movement activist, stressed that ‘women was being accepted as person who should serve to men and revolution. In theory, approach to women was even very good, in practice, feudal understandings were dominant. As Kurdish women take part both in Turkish and Kurdish leftist organizations, they became the pioneers of socialist Kurdish movement. Even if most of these movements and their pioneers disappeared with the 12 September, 1980, junta coup D’état, the struggle which was began by them, continued in the PKK.

WOMEN İN PKK

After the 12 September, 1980 coup d´état , many leftist organizations were liquidated. Besides being a difficult period, Junta coup d’état also created an opportunity for PKK. After leaving Turkey borders and establishing secure bases, PKK has carried out the first armed action in 1984. It is an important point that this action was against to state in addition to being opposite to Kurdish feudal system. After 1980 PKK Who has continued its armed action against Turkey, has considerably organized itself in the Turkey, Balkans, Europe and Middle-East, and achieved to reach most of people. During this period, there were numerous participations to PKK and number of women was also increasing day by day. Women in PKK, who were not so active in life, became the dynamic power of war. Even if their first aim of participating to PKK was to take part in the national war, their increasing number led to questioning of the PKK’s ex-strategy and position of Women in PKK. Their attendance to PKK, because of women’s freedom desire, pressure of family, society and state, forced to change the structure of movement. This change is a period which especially starts from 1990s. When Came in 1990, one-third of the PKK’s mountain staff was composed of women. Women’s attendence to PKK is another factor that Their issue was conveyed to PKK and it changed PKK’s policies. In their related studies Alice Marcus and N.A Özcan who mentioned about PKK’s militants, pointed out that by the early 1990s, thirty percent of the 17,000 armed militants in the Kurdish Workers Party was women. In August 2008, the reporter of the Guardian who had visited a PKK camp in Northern Iraq claimed that the PKK has 4,500-5,000 militants approximately 1,100 of whom are women. Some women took part in military activities, while others worked in various front organizations of the PKK such as the ERNK, the Kurdistan People`s Liberation Front which are the PKK`s political network and in the Kurdish Parliament in Exile.

With the getting power of PKK, quantitative and qualitative improvement in the structure of women in PKK and their fighting demand led to a serious discussion in PKK. Men militans in PKK which was under the male-dominance, were not accepting women guerillas’ fighting demands because of their physical feature and inexperience. They also wanted to keep women guerillas back in service. Women guerillas showed a strong response to male militans’ approachs and tried to prove themselves as attending to war. Even if men’s patriarchal approach to women created women’s reaction, women could not keep away to prove herself according to men’s criterias. Women militans’ success in PKK and war, especially Zeynep Kinaci and Gulnaz Karatas’s suicide action, rather strengthened the position of women in PKK. The women guerillas who were in a sneaky competition against to male militans, were preparing the ground of struggle against to traditional Kurdish men, as Palestinian women guerillas acted. Even if this struggle constituted a serious problem, it was overcame. Shortly after, with the support of Abdullah Ocalan, women army came into question and was formed.

CONCLUSİON

Begining of Kurdish women’s evolution process goes back to 19s century. This process, besides Patriarchal system, also, depends on ethnic, social and economical reasons. Even if, from the 19th up to 1960s, the dominant character of Kurdish women movements was fighting for Kurdish Nation in accordance wit regionalism, after 1960s Kurdish women awakened and organized her in the leftist and nationalist movements. Kurdish ‘Teali’ Association was the first nationalistic Kurdish women movement which was formed by some Kurdish intellectual nationalist women to achieve Kurdish national rights and help women who suffered from war, poverty and other catastrophic reasons. According to association’s statute, every citizens of Ottoman Empire can be member and association can help them. In studies of association, a national study was accepted more important than women rights. Newspapers’ articles in the period, clearly showed that both women and males’ organizations priority was healing political statue of Kurdish society. Since Ideology of society and association, generally, based on Religion and nationalism, Kurdish women was not influenced by at that times’ Feminist or leftist movements.

After a long time, from1937 to 1965, Kurdish women met socialist organizations which were under the Turkish leftists. At first, many Kurds and Turks were active in these organizations in order to succeed a socialist ideology. Even though Turkish leftist movements frequently, in the perspective of serf-determination, promised Kurds, they did not implemented their promises. Therefore, this situation led to establishing of independence Kurdish organizations. Revolutionary Kurdish Women Movement was first of one which formed in that time. In a short time, RKWM organized herself and began to her activities in the Kurdish cities. Despite the fact that most members and activists of organization were socialist and women even it was established for women rights, organization’s main aim was the liberty of proletariat and independence of Kurdish community instead of Kurdish women issues. Despite all negativities, many Kurdish women participated actively in activities of Revolution Kurdish Women Organization. During its actions, Association reached many women and created a national identity.

When came to 1980s, most of Kurdish organizations and women had already started to follow a separate way in a national ideological line. At that time, in these discussions, PKK was formed. When PKK was established in 1978 only one participant, Sakine Cansız, was a woman. An important point should be stressed here is that although numerous Kurdish women took part in the Revolution Kurdish Women Association, though most of them had became political, after banning of RKWM, its activists did not participate to PKK. After the PKK fighting against Turkey, from 1984 up to 1990s, numerous Kurdish Women attended ranks of PKK but they were not ex-Kurdish leftist women. During the 1990s Kurdish women who was mourning mother and passive partner, became guerilla fighters in the mountains, and leaders at the forefront of demonstrations in the streets. In the late 1990s, Kurdish Women who was male’s honor at home, a practitioner of tradition and male victims of violence, was active in field of civil society and political parties, and was political opposite against patriarchal system.

Kurdish Women guerillas within PKK, overtime, as strengthened their position quantitative and qualitative, they put into word their independent institutionalization demand in the PKK. As their independent institutionalization and Women paradigm projects were theoretically formed only by Abdullah Öcalan, Kurdish women got a vital position in the PKK and civil society. As a result of some discussion, the first Kurdish women armed organization, PJA, was founded. According to PJA guerillas; Resolving the question of women, of women’s rights then, can only take place if it is viewed as a „revolution inside the revolution“. Accordingly, in the guerrilla army, women are learning about their own significance for Kurdistan’s liberation. They live with the knowledge that without their revolutionary struggle for freedom there can be no revolution in Kurdistan. The women have been politicised as a result of this awareness. Of course this process also develops among the male guerrillas, for the liberation movement of Kurdistan does not see the question of women’s rights as a matter merely for women. It is a social problem historically connected with the occupation of Kurdistan in way that is scientifically verifiable.

At that time even now, despite all Feminist circles’ Criticisms which are about the Role of Abdullah Ocalan’ in the Kurdish women, majority of Kurdish guerillas, organizations and civil circles except for Rosa, Jujin, Jin û Jiyan and some other small associations accepted, Abdullah Öcalan’s perspectives as a manifesto. Even if some opposition Kurdish women movements took a position against PKK, especially against Abdullah Öcalan, they could not be so success and to continue their studies for a long time. Despite PKK’s Criticism against the small groups, the essence of Kurdish feminist standpoint was shaped by them.





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