Across the world the Rojava Revolution is also known as the women’s revolution, and the role of women in the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES) has drawn a lot of attention to new ways of promoting gender equality in government.
Hawar News interviewed AANES co-chair Berivan Khaled about the role of women within the AANES, as well as the difficulties they face.
Regarding the organisation of women within the AANES, Berivan Khaled said, “Women are part of every aspect of life within the AANES. They are the pioneers of many fields, such as politics, military, and economics. There are leading women everywhere in places like al-Jazira, the Euphrates regions, and in the Civil Administrations in Al Tabqah (Tabqa), Ar Raqqah (Raqqa), Manbij, and Deir Ez-Zor… Women occupy varied positions, from co-chair to committee membership. Under the title ‘Women’s Coordination of the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria’ we are present everywhere”.
Continued Khaled: “The male-dominated mentality in our society is affecting our struggle. We, as women, are fighting against it in all aspects of life.
“We can’t end the patriarchal system in a couple of years, but with the establishment of the co-chair system in the AANES, we now have the opportunity to overcome obstacles and fight against the male-dominated system”, she said.
She also emphasised the importance of the training, dialogue, seminars, and meetings they have organised to counter male domination in society. The AANES has been fully supportive of women’s organisations, she said.
“Since women take part in the North and East Syria Autonomous Administration committees and boards, they have power on the administrative level as well”, said Khaled. “Women also take part in women’s organisations and non-governmental organisations in the region, and play a role in coordinating these committees. The administration provides us both with financial and moral support”.
She also pointed out that foreign delegations who visit the region are surprised when they see the role of women in the Autonomous Administration system. “It is surprising for them to see how powerful women are here”, she said.