Dersim: The essence of the PKK is women's liberation

PAJK coordinatin member, Ayten Dersim, spoke on the TV channel Medya Haber about the founding of the PKK on 27 November 1978.

The member of the coordination of the “Party of Free Women in Kurdistan” (Partiya Azadiya Jin a Kurdistan, PAJK), Ayten Dersim spoke on the TV channel Medya Haber about the founding of the PKK on 27 November 1978.

We reproduce excerpts from the interview.

The PKK is a women's party

The PKK movement is a movement of martyrs, the PKK is also a party of women. While our Leadership defines the PKK in this way, the 45-year history of our struggle shows that this movement has come to this day by sowing freedom in the rich soil of the Middle East. It went beyond the Middle East and became universal. Today, thousands of people, women and young people all over the world are fighting for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, for his philosophy and to ensure his physical freedom. This is proof of the fact that when a movement builds its struggle on the basis of its own dynamics, when it expresses the demands and claims of the peoples and organizes itself on this basis, no power can defeat it.

This was shown by the fight for freedom that we waged in our free mountains. For years, fascism on these mountains has sought to destroy the guerrillas by using modern weapons technology from NATO and using its entire arsenal, including chemical weapons, with full brutality against the HPG and YJA Star. In the Zap, Avaşîn, Metîna and Heftanin regions we once again proved them that they cannot defeat us.

Behind this is the free spirit created by the PKK and our Leadership. The belief has emerged that people can determine their own destiny if they organize themselves. Fascism cannot defeat the resistance of organized peoples, it couldn’t yesterday it can’t today. All peoples and all women should see that a movement has been waging its own struggle for freedom for forty-five years without interruption and that this struggle has entered human history.

This means that peoples and women succeed when they organize themselves. They go to victory by raising their own awareness. As long as they keep their eyes on the goal, they can gain the guarantee of their own freedom struggle. Another essence of the PKK are of course women. The imperialist powers, the hegemonic powers, have always said: Shoot the women first and you will take over society. They did not succeed in this in the freedom struggle we led, because our Leadership already saw when the PKK was founded that women had to be the first to be drawn into the freedom struggle in order to organize themselves. In this sense, the PKK's guarantee is its feminine essence.

From Kurdistan to World Women's Confederalism

As a movement of free women, we first built our own organization in Kurdistan. Then we went beyond that and established a foothold in the Middle East, most recently holding an international women's meeting in Berlin to discuss how all women can come together and how we can develop our own self-organization as women. And with that we have taken the first step towards developing a common organization. With this first step, we have proven that women can unite in a democratic, confederal system. Today, women around the world are inspired by the struggle of our free women's movement. With the Women's Revolution of Rojava, we have reached the peoples of the world and awakened, built and planted the belief that peoples and women can truly fight for freedom. We have defined the essence of the PKK movement as the essence of women, and the practical implementation has taken place with the organization of women.

Our first organization was the Women's Army. Then we founded the YAJK to spread the women's army to the entire society. The YAJK brought awareness to women in an organized environment and the guerrillas delivered hard blows to the enemy. And then our Leadership said: Why not a women's party? Many women and peoples were surprised. It was the first step to establish the ideology of women's liberation in society by establishing a women's party.

Today, millions of women are aware of the ideology of women's liberation. They develop this awareness further and discuss what women's self-organization can look like. They talk about what women's free will should be based on, what consciousness it should be based on. In this spirit, we have launched a second women's revolution in the Middle East.

Organized self-defense

The organization is the guarantee of the freedom of the peoples, and this guarantee is based on the ability to defend themselves. When the PKK took its first step, it developed this capability. We have come to this day by organizing in all areas related to self-defense. Thus our fifty-year history of struggle was woven. And of course we paid a high price.

As women, we know that the struggle comes with a heavy price. The path to freedom requires great awareness. Because the most fundamental thing that should be destroyed in women is their self-confidence, their own will and their own ethics. We gained self-confidence and in the process we realized that it is the most basic need of all women. That's why we didn't just limit ourselves to the Kurdish women's movement. We have developed the awareness that the 21st century will be the century of women and their organization. In this sense, we have come to believe that we will reach the level that this movement has reached with all women. That is why we are committed to ensuring that all women's movements strengthen their self-defense. Self-defense is a strategy that can be organized in a thousand ways. It is the most basic strategy to defend yourself against male domination everywhere and to protect yourself. Our experiences in this regard are a benefit for all women.

Step by step to a revolution of the minds

We have come to believe that we can defeat the male mentality throughout the world by spreading what is the essence of the PKK movement: freedom, the democratic confederal system and the philosophy of a democratic nation inclusive of all sections of the population.

Young women are the most dynamic force in our movement. The PKK movement started young, it will remain young and will be successful with a young spirit. We have always existed in these mountains, in this struggle for freedom, by creating our own identity, always young, dynamic and enthusiastic. On 25 November, women all over the world flocked to the squares and streets to reclaim their freedom. Of course, our fight is not limited to one day. It takes place in consciousness every day, step by step, in order to overthrow the system of domination that has been imposed on societies for thousands of years. We are convinced that all women who thirst for freedom will take part in this fight and increase their resistance.