On the rim of the civil war the autonomous region Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/ Rojava¹ was proclaimed by the predominantly Kurdish population of northern Syria in the summer of 2012. Since then the social model of Democratic Confederalism is being implemented in Rojava, which could prove to be a model for the Middle East as well as providing new hopes and perspectives on a global scale.
The society in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/ Rojava is based on a grassroots democracy built on the concept of Democratic Confederalism, which goes back to the ideas of Abdullah Öcalan. The principles of this local self-government are free development and equality for every individual and every section of the population, liberation and equalisation of woman, ecological susatainability and developing collectiv, solidary structures.
Every housing block has its own assembly, in which neighbours can get together and discuss how they want to organize their living together. In every assembly there are people in charge of carrying the made decisions into the next level of assemblies – quarters, cities etc. In every decision-making body the delegates are made up of all religious, linguistic and ethnic population groups, as well as men and women in equal numbers. The framework is the so called social contract, which was discussed and passed collectively and which defines far-reaching individual and collective rights for all residents.
This organisation invites everybody in the region to participate actively. Depending on their desires and needs people can exert influence on social or political level.
The organised women of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/ Rojava have been fighting for their rights and against patriarch structurtes in the region for years. Many of them fight in armed YPJ units along side the mens YPG units against Daesh, the so called „Islamic State“. They fight for their way of life as well as for the idea of a free society based on Democratic Confederalism: But their biggest battle is not one with weapons.
Self-organisation and raising their voice against unequal treatment commited by men and institutions is a daily struggle. The have their own security forces, the Asayîş Jin. The establishment of „womens academies“ for political and social debate as well as for mutual education is a cornerstone of their organisation. Women in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/ Rojava are organised in collectives to practice cooperativ production and economic activity on a solidary basis.
Women are organised within the assembly structures of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/ Rojava in independant womens assemblies and hereby influence the decisions of communal as well as regional administration directly. In the structure of decision-making the organisation of women are an independant, equal force, parallel to the general assemblies in which people of all genders can get involved. This self-organisation of women in independant assemblies is a cornerstone to the concepte of the democratic confederalism. Women are to be found in all important functions and all committees of administration, e.g. as mayoresses, health ministers or judges.
We share the idea of the womans organisation of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/ Rojava, that without the liberation of women an equal society cannot arise. To overcome patriarchy is a central pillar for equality. The broard spectrum of organisation on social, political as well as economic level women can develop a new self-confidence as an individual being within society. These are the reasons why we will support this womans organisation.
¹On March 17th 2016 an assembly of Kurdish, Assyrian, Arab and Turkmen delegates proclaimed the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/ Rojava consisting of Efrîn, Kobanê and Cizîrê.