8 March celebrated across North Kurdistan

8 March, International Women’s Day, is being marked and celebrated all over North Kurdistan and Turkey today in many rallies and marches led by women who are rising up for their rights and freedom and condemning the male violence and male dominance.

8 March, International Women’s Day is being marked and celebrated all over North Kurdistan and Turkey today in many rallies and marches led by women who are rising up for their rights and freedom and condemning the male violence and male dominance.

This year’s 8 March activities has become all the more important and well prepared in Kurdistan as the World March of Women (WMW) launched its 4th International Action in Nusaybin district of Mardin two days ago in solidarity with the Kurdish women resisting in Kobanê and Sinjar as well the Rojava revolution. Hundreds of female activists affiliated to various women’s organisations from all over the world as well as other cities of Turkey have come to North Kurdistan to join the 8 March activities held around 4th International Action of WMW and the big rally taking place today in Amed.

The big march in Amed, the major one of 1-week long activities and rallies held around 8 March, has started today towards noon after tens of thousands of women gathered at Seyh Sait Square from where they are marching to Istasyon square where the big rally will be held. Many women from 17 countries around the world are joining the march, together with the women of North Kurdistan and Turkey who have flocked to the main Kurdish city for the big rally.

Women are marching in Amed under the slogan “Women are on the march until we are all free” and “we build free life together with the women resisting in Kobane”, shouting out their anger at the male dominance and the increasing male violence, chanting slogans in favour of women’s liberation.

Peace Mothers are at the frontline of the march in Amed, carrying the pictures of their children who fell in the liberation struggle and raising their demands for peace. The march is also supported by Amed Municipality and HDP and BDP branches in Amed, and by the female deputies and mayors from the HDP and DBP.

Thousands of Kurdish women joining the march are dressed in their traditional clothes, giving a colourful look together with the red, green, yellow and purple flags they are carrying. This year’s march seems to be one of the most enthusiastic ones as women are this time rising up for their demands and against male dominance and by uniting with the resistance of women in Rojava, already marking 2015 the year of women.

While the central march is being held in Amed, many other rallies and marches are also organised in dozens of settlements in North Kurdistan, where women are joining the uprising for freedom. Marches witnessing a mass participation are being staged also in Silvan district of Amed, Kurtalan, Siirt, Karlıova, Bingöl, Bitlis, Yüksekova, Hakkari, Korakoçan, Erzurum, Bulanık, Muş, Çukurca, Hakkari, Kars, Hatay, Adana and Mersin. Many rallies are yet to start in many other cities and towns in North Kurdistan which witnesses this year a massive rise up women.

In the meantime, women have been attacked by the police in Urfa at the beginning of the march. Police stopped women and denied permission to continue the march alleging that some of the banners and the posters of Kurdish Leader Abdullah Öcalan are not legal. Giving a strong response to police blockade, women are holding a sit-down blockading the road against the police violence they are being subjected to.

Also creating obstacles for the rally in Adana which is being joined by tens of thousands of women, police collected the pictures carried by women, while TEDAŞ (Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation) staff did not allow the use of generators, alleging that there is no enough electricity flow for the voice system to be used at the rally.

The rally in Adana, where the demand of forming self-defence forces of women comes to the foreground in slogans, continues despite the obstacles created.