Women celebrate International Women’s Day worldwide
Since 1911, women around the world have celebrated International Women's Day on March 8 to draw attention to women's rights and gender equality. However, after more than 100 years, it is still evident that inequality persists.
Women took to the streets all around the world on March 8 to celebrate the International Women’s Day and gave message of resistance against all forms of attacks. Kurdish women also joined the celebrations in various countries under the slogan "Jin, Jiyan, Azadî" (Woman, Life, Freedom).
The celebration at the Duomo Square in Milan was also participated by the Milan Kurdish Committee, in the name of which Hazal Koyuncuer spoke and remembered all the female revolutionaries who fell in the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle in the person of Sakine Cansız.
Kurdish women took to the streets to celebrate March 8 in Brussels, Liege and Antwerpen cities of Belgium. Statements by the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJK-E) were read out during the demonstrations organised jointly with European women’s organizations in three cities.
In Graz, Austria women marched from Hauptplatz to Griesplatz after messages by women’s organisations on March 8 were read out.
The March 8 celebration at Meseumplein, Amsterdam was organised by several organisations including TJK-E, International Free Women’s Foundation, Rode Morgen, SKB, World Women’s Platform. TJK-E made a statement promoting its campaign “100 Reasons to Prosecute the Dictator” and called for the struggle to build democratic confederalism to be expanded.
The capital city of France witnessed the most massive and joyful rally marking the International Women’s Day as women’s movements and trade unions took to the streets in masses for “Strike”. The Kurdish Women’s Movement in France (TJK-F) joined the march from Place Royal to Republique Square, raising their voice for equality and freedom against patriarchy.
Speakers saluted “all the Kurdish women who exist and struggle in Rojava, Shengal, prisons and everywhere” and reiterated their demand for justice for Kurdish revolutionaries Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez who were killed by Turkish intelligence service in January 2013.
Kurdish women toured the Goteborg city and held various events to mark the International Women’s Day. A statement in the name of Martyr Sema Women’s Council highlighted the importance of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and said, “We see our freedom depended on Öcalan’s freedom. 2021 will be the year of freedom for Kurdish women and we will crown it with the freedom of Leader Öcalan.”
Kurdish and French women welcomed March 8 together in Toulouse where they announced their commitment to fight a mindset that deprives women of all their rights, exploits and enslaves them.
Thousands of women celebrated March at Rotebülhplatz in Stuttgart where dozens of women’s organizations came together and staged a march to Schlossplatz. Meryem Women’s Initiative collected signatures for the “100 Reasons to Prosecute the Dictator” campaign.
The March 8 Platform in Cologne, which is made up of dozens of women’s organizations, promoted rallies in 10 locations rather than a central rally because of the pandemic conditions. Kurdish women led by Viyan Women’s Council joined the rallies at Wienerplatz and Rudolfplatz.
In Berlin, a demonstration of the "Alliance of Internationalist Feminists" took place on the occasion of the Women's Day under the slogan "Our life, our resistance, break the silence and the system!” The alliance consists of various groups, networks and individuals who come together on key days such as March 8 and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 to take their political demands and struggles to the streets. The Kurdish Women's Movement in Europe (TJK-E) had also called for participation.
The Kurdish women's bloc led by the Dest-Dan Women's Council presented the campaign "100 Reasons to Prosecute the Dictator" initiated by TJK-E at the demonstration. A petition launched for this purpose on November 25 aims to have Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan indicted before the UN as responsible for the Turkish regime's misogynistic policies and to have feminicides recognized internationally as crimes against humanity.
In Giessen, the March 8 Alliance organised a demonstration under the slogan "Basta! Fight for Liberation!".
In Dortmund, a rally was held by the Feminist Collective in front of the Reinoldikirche on Sunday. The collective consists of initiatives of different currents, including the movement of young combative women (TEKO-JIN), whose intention is to make feminist practice visible in Dortmund and the surrounding area. In this sense, a public workshop was held on Women's Day to raise awareness about gender injustices.
Martyr Asya Yüksel Women’s Council, Courage, New Women and MLPD organised a rally in front of the Central Train Station in Duisburg. A statement made in the name of Martyr Asya Yüksel Women’s Council highlighted the importance of the women’s revolution in Rojava and the Kurdish women’s freedom struggle based on the libertarian paradigm presented by Abdullah Öcalan.
Events to mark March 8 were held at 5 locations in the Hamburg city where the central rally took place in Altona, with the participation of Kurdish women as well. Women strongly protested the police that did not allow the YPJ flag to be displayed during the demo. “We live in Germany, not in the Turkey ruled by dictator Erdoğan,” said Leyla Kaya who spoke on behalf of the Rojbin Women’s Council. Hamburg Left Party co-chair Cansu Özdemir also crticised the police obstruction and said they fought against all bans, including the PKK ban in Germany.