Syriac women take solidarity as a basis

Founded in 2013, the Syriac Women's Union aims to develop women's and social organisation in the Middle East through the solidarity of Arab, Kurdish and Syriac women.


THE Syriac Women's Union was founded to defend the rights of Syriac women, to fight against gender discrimination and to protect their cultural heritage. The Syriac Women's Union, which organises various activities to enable Syriac women to make their voices heard and defend their rights, carries out activities to be the voice of all women.

Corcet Bersomo, member of the Syriac Women's Union, spoke to ANF about the organisation of Syriac women since the establishment of the Syriac Women's Union.

The Syriac Women's Committee established in 2005

Noting that there were no rights protecting the Syriac people and women before 2000, Corcet Bersomo said, "From 2000 to 2005, there were processes of activism along with the struggle for unity. In 2005, the Syriac Women's Committee was established. With this committee, social, cultural and organisation activities were started, putting particular emphasis on social and cultural trainings."

Syriac Women's Union declared in 2013

Remarking that they held their first conference in Dêrîk on 13 July 2013 with the participation of 200 women, Corcet Bersomo said, "With the announcement of the Syriac Women's Union, unions were opened in Dêrîk, Tirbespiyê, Qamişlo and Hesekê. In addition, training programmes were organised for women to protect their rights and organise themselves. In the unions opened in 4 cities, education centres were opened so that Syriac children would not be deprived of their mother tongue."

Eştarut Syriac Women's House in Qamişlo and Hesekê

Corcet Bersomo, noting that they opened Eştarut Syriac Women's House in Hesekê in 2019 with 5 women and in Qamişlo on 28 September 2019 with 5 women, continued: "Eştarut, where social problems are solved, is a place where social solidarity and reconciliation are achieved. In addition, in order to ensure equality in society, to reduce problems and to reach a scientific level in society, particular emphasis is put on education. Problems that cannot be solved in Eştarut are resolved in the Social Justice Assembly with the participation of Eştarut representatives."

Organisation through the Women's House

Corcet Bersomo pointed out that: "Although the Syriac people did not make of the Women's House at first, they realised its purpose after their visits and turned it into a social space. The complaints and problems that are conveyed to Eştarut Syriac Women's House are discussed monthly. On this basis, panels, meetings and trainings are organised to reduce the problems in society. It is a programme aimed at getting to know how social problems can be solved. Syriac women are organised under the umbrella of the Syriac Women's Union in both life and work."

Bes Nahren Young Women's Academy in Hesekê

Noting that Bes Nahren Young Women's Academy was opened in Hesekê in 2018, Corcet Bersomo said, "There was a need for a vocational academy. In this context, Bes Nahren Young Women's Academy was opened. A profession was needed for women to achieve economic independence. Women who work professionally and achieve economic independence will be able to become more competent in society.  We have training cycles lasting from 3 months to 6 months. So far, we do not have an academy that provides ideological education. Ideological education is essential for women to know their history, society and develop their self-defence. Women cannot struggle only by gaining economic independence. As much as a woman knows herself and her society, she can participate more strongly in the society and lead it." She added that they will start preparations for an ideological academy.

'We can ensure the freedom of the peoples through solidarity'

Corcet Bersomo pointed out that the main aim of the Syriac Women's Union is to organise Syriac women and expand their dialogue with women's movements, and concluded as follows: "The strengthening of Kurdish, Arab and Syriac women's relations will open the door to the strengthening of women's organisation. No matter how much women from one nation are organised, this organisation will be doomed to remain narrow unless it includes all women. We also participated in the women's conference in Lebanon and the women's panel in Tunisia. By solidarity with women in the Middle East, we can ensure the freedom of the peoples of the Middle East."