On 8th March of the year of 2020 we say,
Let us turn this century into the era of women’s revolution!
Women, sisters, comrades;
We are going through a historic period, a transitional phase that happens once in a century. The old is being transcended, as the new is waiting to be built. This time however, it will not be the rulers, but us, who will be the ones to determine what the new is going to look like! Us, namely, the women whose hearts beat for freedom, revolution, and true equality! We are the revolutionary force of this era! We are those, who will build a free and equal life.
More devastatingly than ever before, we see that the patriarchal-capitalist system that proliferated in the 20th century as a world-system is not sustainable. This situation manifests itself in the rise in crisis and chaos around the world. The increase in wars, displacement, deaths, climate catastrophes, ecocides, poverty and violence show the levels of this crisis and chaos. In the first quarter of the 21st century, the global capitalist system increased its attacks on women. Women are particularly affected by war, massacre, displacement, violence and deprivation because they are women.
At the same time, women’s struggle for liberation, equality and justice is what poses the greatest challenge to the male dominated system. Today, more than ever before, women are organizing themselves to challenge the 5,000-year-old patriarchal system by raising their voices against oppression, injustice and exploitation and for freedom and equality. Women rise up against all forms of harassment and rape, violence, sexism, inequality, exclusion, enslavement, exploitation and pacification caused by the male-dominated mentality! Women are in the streets to meaningfully practice the rights and liberties that they have on paper, to break the limits and inequalities imposed on them by religion, law and justice systems and to be the ones to determine their lives in every aspect of life! Against occupation, destruction, deforestation, pollution, commodification and exploitation of nature and against the mentality that puts profit for a few humans over nature, women stand for all living beings at the forefront of ecological struggles!
Today, women constitute the greatest anti-system force on a global scale. The women’s struggle is the most popular social movement of our time. As women, we have the power to mobilize large crowds within a short amount of time. Let us be aware of our strength. As women, we come up with the most creative, loudest and most contagious action forms. Let us see the power of our creativity. As women, we are the ones that frighten the dominant system the most. Let us make it even more afraid!
The duality of the battle between freedom and slavery, peace and war, equality and exploitation, which is as old as the patriarchal system, expresses itself most profoundly in the women’s issue. Capitalist modernity’s barest form is expressed in the reality of women, because woman is the first slave, first object, first class and first colony in history. This has led to such a rupture that it opened the path to all other forms of oppression. Whether humans or animals, whether peoples or social classes, from nature to countries, from labour to mentality – there is nothing that the dominant
system has not objectified. The fact women constitute the first loop of this chain of exploitation shows that the women’s issue is the primary societal contradiction. Therefore, genuine societal liberation and equality can only come about through women’s liberation.
The male dominated system in crisis is aware of this reality. It tries to secure its power by way of deepening its attacks on women through violence, sexism and misogyny. It targets the women’s struggle in particular. In the last year alone, Hevrin Xelef, a leading woman politician of Rojava Kurdistan was brutally murdered by the Turkish state and its collaborators; the street artist Daniela Carrasco, who took part in the protests in Chile, was murdered by hanging; Professor Diana Isabel Hernandez Juarez, coordinator of the Guatemala ecology committee was assassinated; Palestinian Esraa Gharib, who shared a photo with her fiancé on social media, was killed by her family in the name of “honour”. All of these cases of femicide display a mentality aimed at silencing women. Around the world, the patriarchal system responds to women’s deepening consciousness, their freedom quest, and struggle with massacres.
However, it fails to achieve its desires outcomes. Against the male mentality that increases “men’s solidarity” in the face of the rising solidarity among women’s struggles, we multiply in defiance of those who want to decrease our numbers. We respond to the murder of every woman killed in the hands of male and state violence, which constitute two sides of the same coin: by strengthening our bonds, increasing our determination to struggle. This is how we resist the patriarchal-capitalist exploitation. More than ever, on 8th March 2020, we understand that resistance itself is no longer enough. In order to overcome the male dominated system, which is organized on a global scale, we need a women’s system! Only an alternative system that is based on freedom, real democracy, and ecology can put an end to the patriarchal-capitalist hegemony.
So, what do we mean by women’s system? Our aim is not to create a new hegemony or to simply build a system for women as women. On the contrary, we want to put an end to all forms of power, domination and exploitation. We want a system based on democracy, ecology and freedom. Peoples and communities have lived based on such a societal system for millennia in spite of the statist civilization. Now is the time to rebuild what belongs to us.
There are several historical-societal factors that make women the primary subjects of the revolutionary movement of the 21st century. The revolutionary movements of the past two centuries have demonstrated different approaches to the women’s question. These separated the women’s issue from general society at the expense of disguising the problem’s systemic character, in turn posing obstacles to the women’s struggle’s ability to become a wider social movement. In reality, revolutionary movements that do not centre women’s liberation cannot succeed in their struggle to oppose the system. If we want to change our era and turn the 21st century into the century of women’s liberation, then it is of utmost urgency to develop solutions for all issues of the century and to declare war on all those that consciously pose obstacles to such solutions. For this, women must concern themselves with all the political, military, diplomatic, social, and cultural issues that nation-states decide over. They must develop their own politics. In order to overcome the state of being a movement of reaction, the women’s struggle must create and determine its own agendas, plans, and programs for action. A new strategic struggle is paramount.
Of course, this strategic struggle must be based on a particular paradigm and different ideological perspective. As the Kurdistan Women’s Liberation Movement, the paradigm that we draw upon in our struggle is the democratic-ecological-women’s liberationist paradigm developed by our leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held hostage for 21 years by NATO, the organization that
epitomizes the male/state mind the most today. We believe that this paradigm is the solution and alternative to the system crisis. The Women’s Liberation Ideology presents the essence of this paradigm. Its scientific expression is Jineolojî, the science of woman and life. In Rojava, where the movement for the women’s revolution of the 21st century has made important gains, the process of building an alternative system was started based on this ideological perspective. After the defeat of ISIS in our revolutionary territory, this time, the Turkish state and its proxy forces launched attacks on Rojava with the help of the USA, Russia and Europe. What is targeted and tried to be annihilated is the free life option and democratic system that started to be built around the slogan “Jin-jiyan-azadî”. It is revolution. We salute all of our sisters and comrades around the world, who have mobilized to defend our revolution against the policies of occupation and annihilation with the slogan “Women Defend Rojava”.
In order to transform the current phase into an era of women’s revolution, the thing we need most urgently is organization. To find an optimal balance between the specific and the universal on a global scale, we suggest World Democratic Women’s Confederalism as a form of organizing our common struggle. However, if we build a strong union, build our commonalities without limiting our specificities, bring together our experience, knowledge and perspectives, we can shake the male dominated system by developing a shared women’s mindset. We need to dispose of all that occupies, limits, divides and segregates us. We can do this. World Democratic Women’s Confederalism can be the common base of this struggle. Let us get together and build our confederal women’s system all together, let us formulate its agreement, with all its principles and values.
As the Kurdish Women’s Liberation Movement, we understand 8th March in this sense. With our slogan “The Women’s Struggle is Existence, Resistance, Freedom” we want our struggle to take form in order to be able to shake the foundations of the male dominated system. Let us build our autonomous system and destroy the patriarchy. This will be the most meaningful response to the male and state violence that will do justice to women and all our martyrs: To organize, to resist, to secure freedom!
With the belief that this year’s 8th March will be a day of struggle to bring women’s organizedness closer on a global scale, from the mountains of Kurdistan to the valleys of the Middle East, from the steppes of Africa to the streets of Europe, from the heights of Asia to the forests of South America, from the plains of Australia to the squares of North America, we send our revolutionary salutes to all struggling women around the world. With the excitement of revolutionary times, and with the determination to turn this century into the era of women’s revolution, we salute you all on International Women’s Day.
The Women’s Struggle is Existence, Resistance, Freedom!
Long live 8th March!
Jin – Jiyan – Azadî!
Komalên Jinên Kurdistan – March 2020