Kurdish Women celebrate International Day amid war

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Gulsen Muhammad, a Kurdish activist and performer in the mime play in central Qamishli on the occasion of International Women's Day. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria – Kurdish women organizations revived International Women’s Day in the city of Qamishl in northeastern Syria. The celebration included different activities, including the performance of a mime play echoing the situation of Syrian Kurdish women under the conditions of war and as victims of extremist groups.

Speaking to ARA News in Qamishli, Berivan Alika, a member of the Shawshka Associationfor Women’s Rights, said: “Today, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, we wanted to shed light on the situation of women in the region through this mime play, focusing on the violence women are exposed to.”

“We wanted to perform an original version reflecting reality, because the woman is the major building block of any society, and the injustice practiced against Syrian women under the current conditions of war are unbearable,” she said. 

Gulsen Muhammad, one of the performers in the mime play, told ARA News: “This activity reflects the real situation of the Syrian women during the hardships of war. Women are repeatedly exposed to rape and detention, and we wanted to specifically echo such realities by performing in the city center of Qamishi on this occasion.”

“Assyrian and Yezidi women were even taken as sex captives by extremists of the Islamic State,” she told ARA News. “In some cases, Syrian women were also forced to become beggars looking for simplest means of life. Others were forced into prostitution in order to survive and feed their children.”

The celebration of the International Women’s Day in Qamishli also included performances of folk dances presented in the Kurdish traditional dresses. 

Speaking to ARA News, Majdal Delli, member of the Central Committee of the Kurdish Yeketi Party in Syria, said: “Kurdish women have always supported men and joined them in times of revolution and crisis.”

“Today we are here to show solidarity with women and support them in this progressive movement in the Kurdish region.”

In the meantime, thousands of Kurdish women spent their international day on the fighting front against the radical group of IS in northern Syria. The Kurdish Woman Protection Units (YPJ) are considered a main force combatting IS extremists. 

Source: ARA News

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