Jeen Peres – Syria
The struggles and sacrifices of women have played a major role in the development of humanity in all fields. However, reactionary culture and political tyranny have prevented the recognition of women’s efforts and their natural role in society.
Violations against women under Turkish occupation
As 2020 comes to its end, violations against women continue in northeast Syria, despite the efforts of the Autonomous Administration to eliminate the problem. However, this type of violence has different forms, especially in the light of the Turkish occupation of the region. This conflict has a huge impact on women. The Turkish armed terrorist factions are committing violations against women to frustrate the Autonomous Administration’s advances in gender equality and women’s rights.
The Centre for Research and the Protection of Women’s Rights in Syria prepared a document on Turkish factions and their violations against Kurdish women, which included the killing of 88 women, the kidnapping of 140 kidnapping, and the injury of 176.
The centre was established by 21 feminist activists on 1 November 2019 for the purpose of documenting violence against women and raising awareness of women’s issues.
COVID-19’s effect on domestic violations
The coronavirus pandemic has had many negative effects on all aspects of the lives of women. Lockdowns had a particularly severe effect on social relations. The numbers of women who have experienced domestic violence has increased worldwide, and in northeast Syria in particular.
Local lawyer, feminist activist and member of the SARA organisation Nada Malke said, “In light of people’s suffering due to the conflict in the region, and with this pandemic, the psychological pressures have increased. Unfortunately, these pressures were a main reason for increased domestic violence and violence against women”. Malke also add that differences of opinions between spouses became intolerable for many during the lockdown, leading to more divorces cases.
Established in Qamishli city on 1 July 2013, the SARA organisation to combat violence against women aims to eliminate violence against women in northeast Syria. In 2020 there were 1453 cases of domestic violence against women in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (based on Women’s House [Mala Jin] data), of which 417 cases were solved, 511 cases are under discussion, 376 cases are in court, and 109 cases from other institutions are developing.
Social violence against women
Syrian women suffer today from honour killing, rape, kidnapping, slavery and psychological and physical persecution because of an authoritarian male mentality and the actions of extremist religious groups. This has left women with no option but to rely on themselves.
These are the documented statistics on violence against women in northeast Syria for 2020, according to the Women’s Council for Social Justice:
– 29 women were killed, 202 women were physically abused, and 17 were victims of sexual violence in Raqqa and Tabqa.
– Four women were killed, two committed suicide, one was a victim of sexual violence and 10 were victims of physical abuse in Manbij.
– Four women were killed, two committed suicide, and 44 were physically abused in Shahba (the northern countryside of Aleppo).
– 10 women were killed, 11 committed suicide, five were victims of sexual violence, 204 were physically abused, 11 were kidnapped and 22 were harassed in Aljazeera.
– Four women were killed, three committed suicide and one woman was physically abused in Deir ez-Zor.
– Five women were killed, seven committed suicide, 18 were physically abused, and there were two cases of harassment in Kobani.
Solutions and strategies for women in Rojava
Women in Syria today experience suffering, enslavement and oppression. Reclaiming historically acquired rights is fundamental in preventing more violations and abuses and to help women to overcome obstacles that impede the awareness of rights and the available legal protections.
In order to obtain women’s rights in northeast Syria, many women decided to establish organisations, centres, houses, charities and shelters to help and defend all women who have been subjected to violence. Despite the lack of assistance, they persevere.
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has taken steps to address violence against women. Their ideology supports a feminist direction and the equality between genders in all spheres in life, politically and even militarily.