How Iranian society is standing up against the death of 22 year old Kurdish woman Jîna Mahsa Amini and is displaying a moral and political stance is “an attitude that the Middle East and the world should learn from”, Ronahî Serhat told ANF in an interview on Wednesday.
“Societies are able to sustain their character if they protect their moral and political aspects. As long as they uphold their existence and ethical values, they can remain virtuous and standing,” Kurdistan Women’s Liberation Party (PAJK) council member said.
An insistence on communal living in the face of capitalistic imposition and atomisation via the nation state “is an insistence on humanity”, Serhat said.
Attacks against women are attacks against societies and life itself, according to the PAJK council member. “In this context, all of society chanting in unison ‘Jin Jîyan Azadî’ (‘Woman Life Freedom’) is a great awakening, and a cultural revolution in itself.”
The slogan has spread throughout the world from Kurdistan, becoming a universal symbol of all women who act upon their revolutionary desire or freedom and rise up against the patriarchal system, she said.
The protests, which started on Friday and continued throughout Thursday, “go beyond a protest against violence”, and have turned into a popular movement that radically questions the Iranian regime as a whole. “This is a rising up of society as a revolution, it is an explosion of pent up insurgency. A manifestation of a will for freedom,” Serhat said.
“In Iran, women and all peoples want to celebrate their own spring of freedom. It is time. This regime will either be transcended and change, or be torn down. The only truth the government should read here is that it should turn towards a deep-rooted political-democratic program of transformation. This is necessary for both Iran’s democratisation, and the solution to the Kurdish issue. Otherwise, the waves of popular movements will continue to grow,” she added.
Iranian women’s resistance inspires all women resisting authoritarian and regressive regimes, Serhat said. “The popular revolts in Iran transcend the status quo and herald a new process accelerating the democratisation of the Middle East and the solution of the Kurdish question.”
Serhat also praised the Rojava revolution in north and east Syria, paying respects to the thousands who lost their lives fighting the jihadist Islamic State (ISIS). The People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), whose fighters are mainly Syrian Kurds, have won a victory against ISIS and paved the way for a women’s revolution, she said.
Women’s movements in Turkey have been very active and consistent in protesting femicides, violence against women and sexist attacks, but the translation to a mass movement has been stunted, the top PAJK member said.
“In the face of state-affiliated prostitution gangs, sexual abuse of children, murder of women in broad daylight, violence against political prisoners, and ongoing attacks on women’s organisations, it is unacceptable for society’s objection to remain insufficient,” Serhat said, calling on non-women’s organisations to also take responsibility in advancing women’s rights.
Serhat also slammed Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani, saying the former president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region was “covering up his crimes against Kurds” when he offered condolences to the Amini family. “The KDP has suppressed all alternative attempts and pushes a one-party agenda,” she said. “Betraying the revolutionaries fighting for freedom and at the same time claiming they uphold Kurdishness while banning organising for Southern Kurdistani women and youth is a fraud and hypocritical.”