As International Women’s Day (8 March) approaches, Medya News highlights some of the perspectives of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, reflecting on the significance of women’s liberation in the Kurdish movement.
These are excerpts from a speech Öcalan gave on 20 June 1998 after a party Congress: “This Congress proved that women’s free will was strongly supported within the revolutionary movement. Again, it has a powerful role in the free women’s movement, in the national liberation war.
“Let’s not forget that women do not have a value (in patriarchal terms) even in the most developed countries. ‘They’ are considered as advertising material, an adornment in life. ‘They’ have no political, economic or military rights. In our movement, women are free in all these matters.
“Women must be free. The relationship between women and men are equal in our party. The woman must be free to participate in life.
“Relationships between men and women and family relations should be equal. This Congress was held on these foundations. And I believe that if these foundations come to life, step by step, indeed, the biggest dream of humanity – free woman, free family, equal woman-man relations, and ‘free life’ – will emerge and come to life very strongly as the most important revolutionary part of this struggle”, he stated.