The Free Women’s Movement (TJA) launched its “We defend ourselves” (“Em xwe diparêzin”) campaign against sexual assault, political pressures and restrictions on the Kurdish language.
The campaign was announced during a press conference in Diyarbakır (Amed) in Turkey. TJA activists, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) members and co-chair Saliha Aydeniz, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members and deputies, Democratical Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Leyla Güven and also women from various Kurdish cities gathered in attendance at the press conference.
The campaign programme will last for four months.
The campaign statement was read out in Kurdish and Turkish by TJA spokeswoman Ayşe Gökkan and HDP deputy Semra Güzel: “Kurdish children are assimilated in special institutions and alienated from themselves. They are made to feel ashamed of their own identity and language.
“Kurdish women are supposed to be repressed, but they have managed to re-create themselves through self-defense. It is finally time to act. We have set out to defend ourselves with women’s liberation ideology against the patriarchal mentality, which is organized against us using militarism, racism, sexism and religion.
“We will no longer tolerate oppression and we will fight for a free and equal life”.
The campaign also announced the women’s struggle against the “special war policy” of the state and stated its aim to defend the Istanbul Convention. The Istanbul Convention, which had been ratified by Turkey, aims to prevent violence against women, provide victim protection and end the impunity of perpetrators of such violence. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently announced it may be considering withdrawing from the treaty.
Tevgera Jinen Azad (TJA) was established by Kurdish women in Diyarbakır in 2016. TJA aims to defend women’s liberation against patriarchy across the Middle East and the world using democratic-ecological and women’s-based principles.