R.In Iran it will never be the same since the arrest, on September 13, of Mahsa Amini by the police of morality in Tehran, for not wearing the veil in a rigorous way, imposed by the Islamic Republic on all women in the country. . She was beaten at the police station, she was transported into a deep coma to the hospital where she died three days later. The martyrdom of this 22-year-old woman, instead of remaining a sinister news story, sparked a wave of protest that soon spread across the country. The slogan “Woman, life, freedom” resounded in unprecedented demonstrations, which the government repression, despite its bloody brutality, could not quell. Abroad, it is this same slogan, declined in all local languages, which is sung in demonstrations of solidarity. This battle cry, however, already has a long history, inseparable from a certain Kurdish militancy.
A feminist triptychAnd
It was probably in April 2013, in Ankara, that the slogan “Woman, life, freedom” resounded for the first time, during the congress of the women’s branch of the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy), a predominantly Kurdish party. and historically linked to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). The founder of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned in Turkey since 1999, has just called for the suspension of hostilities between the separatist guerrillas and the Erdogan government. The ceasefire thus concluded is accompanied by the transfer to Syria of the Kurdish fighters, the famous peshmerga, who are leaving the Bakurthe Turkish “North” of Kurdistan of their dreams, in which to settle Rojava, the west of this coming Kurdistan (in the same spirit, Iranian Kurdistan is called by independence activists “Rohjelat”, which means East, and Iraqi Kurdistan “Bashur”, which means South). This peace process allows the BDP to develop its activities in Turkey and to propose its feminist program, with in particular quotas for equal representation.
Öcalan, whose writings are methodically studied throughout the PKK movement, believes, in fact, this “The liberation of women is the liberation of Kurdistan”. The dismantling of the patriarchal system is in his eyes inseparable from the social and national emancipation of the Kurdish people. In July 2014, the BDP dissolved into the HDP (People’s Democratic Party), which scored an unprecedented 13% of the vote in the June 2015 legislative elections.
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