Kurdish women living in exile in various parts of Europe came together on 5 September in Amsterdam for a “Kurdish Women’s Workshop – Europe” that they had organised. The women who organised the event announced the final declaration of the workshop, ANF reports.
According to the declaration, Kurdish women living in the Kurdish diaspora in European Union countries are preparing to establish an initiative against the ‘occupation’ and ‘colonialist practices’ that are evident in Kurdistan.
“Around two million Kurds are living in Europe due to colonialism in Kurdistan, where many live under harsh circumstances as refugees. European countries continue their relations with the occupying forces in Kurdistan for their trade benefits. All those are sufficient reasons for the Kurdish women in the diaspora to unite and make their voices heard,” the women stated in the declaration.
“The Kurdish Women’s Initiative” that is being launched is dedicated to stopping the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP’s) attempts to block and restrain Kurdish fighters. The initiative also appeals to all Kurdish parties to act against the ‘occupation’ by Turkey of Kurdish populated regions in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
The Kurdish women organisers in the diaspora plan to connect with a wide network of female artists, academics and politicians, as well as families of fallen Kurdish fighters and Kurdish civilians living in Europe to engage in solidarity with the initiative.
The declaration states that “the workshop calls on the Preparation Committee of the 3rd Conference of Women’s National Unity to urgently meet and help Kurdistan to avoid further dangers. The workshop also invites all women to organise women’s committees to organise diplomatic talks against the occupation.”
The organisers stated that Kurdish women needed to be more visible and active in intra-Kurdish unity talks for northeast Syria. They have committed themselves towards organising initiatives that will ensure that more Kurdish women will be included in the talks that have resumed between the Democratic Unity Party (PYD) that leads the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC), part of the Syrian National Coalition, which has opposed ongoing negotiations with the PYD since November 2019.
Initiated by the Syrian Democratic Force’s (SDF’s) General Commander Mazloum Abdi, delegations from both sides have held a series of negotiations which mark an end to the diplomatic standstill between the Kurdish parties that had been in place since 2019.
As a result of political oppression and conflicts in Turkey, many Kurds have been dispersed throughout Europe and beyond. The Kurds constitute one of the largest stateless diasporic groups in the world, Martin van Bruinessen, a Dutch anthropologist who has been researching into the Kurdish diaspora and Kurdish issues for decades, concludes.
Self-organised Kurdish women’s groups – including The Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJK-E) – are among the most mobilised in Kurdish diasporic communities in Europe.
Whilst Kurds in Turkey continue their struggle for expanded rights from the Turkish government, the Kurdish diaspora in Europe also draws attention to their cause and initiatives, and makes their voices heard by European governments, activists, politicians and civil society organisations advocating human rights.