Zilan Women's Festival will take place in Gelsenkirchen on 17 June

The traditional Zilan Women's Festival will take place in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday 17 June with the slogan "From Kurdistan to the world: Jin Jiyan Azadî!". The event is dedicated to the Kurdish revolutionary Evîn Goyî, who was murdered in Paris.

The Zilan Women's Festival will take place in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday 17 June this year. The Association of Women from Kurdistan in Germany (YJK-E) said that the event is dedicated to the Kurdish woman Evîn Goyî (Emine Goyî), who was murdered in Paris on 23 December 2022.

The women's festival will be held in Germany for the 17th time, and this year's slogan is "From Kurdistan to the world: Jin Jiyan Azadî!". Dance and music performances by Jin Ma, Mizgîn Tahir, Kevana Zêrîn, Eylem Aktaş, Beser Şahin and Firmesk are announced in the stage program. In addition, the ‘Jin Jiyan Azadî’ philosophy will be presented at a panel. The slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom" has its origins in the women's liberation ideology put forward by Abdullah Öcalan back in the 1990s and became the slogan of the fight against the Islamic State in Rojava/Northern Syria. Since last autumn, Jin Jiyan Azadî has become known worldwide from Kurdistan with the uprising that followed the murder of the young Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini in Iran.

As every year, there is a rich supporting program at the women's festival. Products made by women are presented at stands, and a picture exhibition focuses on the women's liberation struggle. A special program is offered for children.

Jînda Deniz and Ayten Kaplan from the Kurdish Women's Movement in Europe (TJK-E) are among the organizers of the festival and have spoken to ANF about the preparations for the event.

Jînda Deniz said that the Zîlan Festival has an internationalist orientation. The preparations are nearing completion and the aim of the festival is to make the strength of women visible: "Jin-Jiyan-Azadî stands for women's liberation and women's revolution. In this regard, the festival will carry both a message and a call. The message is for the whole world and a message for the rulers. As more women get together and organize, they become stronger, and patriarchy and domination are weakened to the same extent. We say: Let's become more and become a voice against occupation, patriarchal rule and male-dominated thinking. With this in mind, we call for participation in our festival.”

Ayten Kaplan said: “We have left a very heavy time behind us. The past year was marked by violence and femicides. The murder of Jina Amini in Iran, the second massacre in Paris, as well as the earthquake have affected women in a special way. Despite all of this, women have stepped up their fight. Mainly because of the women's resistance in Rojhilat, our fighting slogan ‘Jin Jiyan Azadî’ has taken on a global dimension. The resistance of Kobanê has made the struggle of Kurdish women known worldwide. Through the women in Rojhilat, our struggle has become universal. With the Zilan Festival we want to make our organized struggle known all over the world. Our goal is to unite our strength with all women's movements and fight together. We are on the offensive. At the festival we will meet with different women's communities and discuss our common struggle.”

Zîlan Women's Festival: Kurdish tradition since 2004

The first Zîlan women's festival took place in Gelsenkirchen in 2004 with the slogan "Women cross borders". The year after, the women's movement dedicated the festival to the internationalists Uta Schneiderbanger (Nûdem) and Ekin Ceren Doğruak (Amara), who died in a car accident in South Kurdistan on 31 May 2005.