Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March we present imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party leader Abdullah Öcalan’s thoughts on the women’s revolution.
I find it odd that only 8 March is International Women’s Day. All days are about women, about free women; this is the indispensable necessity of life. But the reality of the 8 March shows clearly that women are excluded from life. The very idea that women are worth commemoration on one day only shows the depth of the slavery. This is such a focus of my concentration. I don’t see this issue independent from the war. It is, indeed, the most basic issue for the revolutions of our time and especially for the Kurdistan revolution; it is a matter of analysing the life surrounding women and at the center of the most advanced issues of war and peace and the free development of peace.
Unless the mentality, the ideology, the organisation, the pressure, the exploitation built around the women have been analysed and its solution has been deepened within this regard and as long as the revolution – the war – has been considered independent from women, the war cannot be for freedom, nor can the peace afterwards be a real peace. The most fundamental condition for all is to solve and decipher the network of relations surrounding women.
Why is only one day set aside for women? Why is an inseparable part of life seen worthy of remembrance for just one day? All days should be developed and considered as “8 March”.
I am not introducing an analysis for women just by considering the needs of a national liberation revolution. Moreover, I never have a narrow understanding of “they are the half of the population, no revolution can be achieved without them” as such. My efforts are deeper than that; this is a matter of philosophy and morality for me. I have to solve this issue to develop my socialist perspective. As a male I am still in the pursuit of life, questioning how should a life with women be, how should life in general be.
Women’s issues should be considered not only within organisational or gender-based frameworks, but must be asked the quesiton: “how?” As the answers are formulated it will be seen that the matter of war and peace is a women’s issue. Unless women’s free will, women’s personalities are brought forward, no solution based on patriarchal understanding can solve the question of war and peace.
Therefore, we need to deepen the women’s revolution so that the wars and the peace processes that would be initiated afterwards can be conducted in a healthy manner in the revolutions of the 21st century.