The co-chair system, which was built through the Rojava Revolution and forms the basis of the Autonomous Administration, is now well known across the globe. Women in the region point out that other powers target this social and political achievement, unsettled by its lack of dependence on traditional patriarchal foundations.
According to a report by the Hawar News Agency, women in Rojava believe they will preserve the achievements they have acquired as a result of many years of hard work.
The leading role of women in the Northeastern Syria Autonomous Administration has been much discussed. Women in Rojava say the co-chair system is more democratic and participatory. According to women in Rojava, many countries around the world appreciate this system, and some believe it is the most successful democratic model.
Following the national unity negotiations, the suggestions put forward by the Kurdish National Council (ENKS) reportedly aim to terminate the co-chair system.
‘The co-chair system has been accepted by society’
Perwin Yusif, co-chair of the Council of Qamishlo canton (northeastern Syria on the Syria-Turkey border), said that the national unity efforts of the Kurds are going through a delicate process while the four parts of Kurdistan are under attack. Emphasising that Kurdish women gained significant achievements with the Rojava Revolution, Perwin said, “The co-chair system has been accepted by society. Previously there were some concepts that excluded women from the administrative system. We reject systems that do not accept equal representation of men and women in the Middle East or any other part of the world”.
Perwin added, “In this century, women should be partners in management and express themselves in every field. The co-chair system we are creating is not a phenomenon that emerges in one day. It is the result of the long struggle of women. This system, which is an example to the whole world, must be protected”.
“The demands and discussions should be centred on the protection of achievements obtained by the struggle of martyrs. Nobody should suggest returning to the pre-revolutionary system and giving up our achievements”. Addressing the ENKS’s demand for the termination of the co-chair system, she said, “Women played an important role in politics, administration, economy and military during the 19 July Rojava Revolution. In fact, the ENKS has not yet achieved the democracy and freedom we have achieved. Women of the Rojava revolution will also democratise the ENKS”.
Şermin Şaqo, Environment and Municipalities Committee co-chair, said that during the establishment of the Democratic Autonomous Administration, women proved themselves as managers, employees and labourers.
Recalling that the patriarchal system prevailed in all areas of society before the 19 July Rojava Revolution, Şermin said, “Everything has changed since the revolution. The ENKS wants to go back to the old system. The ENKS is against the achievements of women. In fact, the ENKS has revealed its intention in the national unity negotiations. Their main goal is to eliminate women’s achievements”.
“If the co-chair system disappears, all steps taken towards a democratic and free society will be in vain. As long as men and women have equal representation, the system will work better. The demands of the ENKS are the same as the policies of the Turkish state. The Turkish state also wants to oppose the leading women of the revolution and to eliminate the co-chair system”, Şaqo noted.