Kurdish female fighters commemorate International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women

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Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ securing a checkpoint near the city of Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) in northeastern Syria. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

Kobane – Each year on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is commemorated. On Friday, the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) took the time to observe the day, even while battling the Islamic State (ISIS).

“By joining the ranks of the Women’s Protection Units, we aim to end ISIS’ slavery and their brutal oppression against the women in this region,” YPJ fighter Hamrin Rojava told ARA News.

“On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we express our hope that all women will soon be freed from persecution,” she added.

The YPJ have become a symbol of resistance and sexual equality both within Northern Syria – Rojava and beyond it. The all-female force believes that it has been called forth to free the region’s women from bondage; from the slave markets of Shaddadi to the thoroughfares of Raqqa.

According to the YPJ, violence against women has continued for millennia in the Middle East. However, the YPJ maintain that they’ve broken down these constraints and obliged their once-male-dominated society to respect them.

“In Rojava, similar to any other part of the Middle East, women have suffered the most under social and traditional suppression,” Hamrin explained. “They have been constantly exposed to violence and their basic rights have been constantly denied by the male-dominated society.”

After taking over large parts of Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014, ISIS jihadists took thousands of women and used them as sex slaves. They have also closed girl’s schools and women’s clinics, confining all postpubescent females within their family’s residence.

The Women’s Protection Units take a particularly dim view of the violence and oppression practiced by ISIS and other Islamist factions. According to those fighters who spoke to ARA News, women should be free to pursue their chosen spouse, occupation and education.

The YPJ fighters have participated in major battles against the Islamic State, serving as crack troops and deft snipers. Their immediate objective is to free those women captured by ISIS.

Speaking for her fellow revolutionaries, Hamrin said that her “revolution is against social injustice. The revolution is not only limited to Rojava – it has reached many parts of the Middle East.”

 

Reporting by: Enwer Omar | Source: ARA News 

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