Yazidi women: Only we can protect ourselves!

The umbrella organization of the Yazidi Women's Council SMJE has published a statement on November 25, the international day against violence against women. The women call for self-organization against patriarchal violence.

SMJE, the umbrella organization of the Yazidi Women's Council, has published a statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In view of the political character of patriarchal violence, the association calls on women to politicize and organize themselves, and on society as a whole to mobilize against patriarchy:

"We want a life without violence, self-determined and free. It is not only the task of women to stand up against daily domestic violence, sexual assaults, attempted killings, and even human trafficking, forced marriage and prostitution. SMJE points out the role of violence against women as a weapon of war.

Patriarchal violence part of everyday life in "modern societies"

However, the violence cannot be reduced to these regions, the umbrella organization states and continues: "Especially in our 'modern' world, patriarchy and its violence against women are part of everyday life. The Yazidi women draw a connection of the liberation fight against the IS-genocide in Shengal (Sinjar) over the fight of the women in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan up to the feminist protest in Poland and France. Especially women like the Mirabal sisters murdered by the Trujillo regime, Sakine Cansiz murdered by the MIT or Hevrin Khalaf murdered by Turkish-backed mercenaries are personally named: "For us, these women named by name are the resistance ambassadors, the free women who were violently torn from us. Their names have immortalized them for humanity, for equality, for a truly lived democracy in the fight against the fascist Erdoğan regime and the henchmen of the Islamic State."

"Only we can protect ourselves"

SMJE points out the importance of self-organization and self-defense, saying; "Only we can protect ourselves by showing solidarity and becoming an organized force, and by fighting again and again against the oppression of women in all areas of life. Patriarchal violence and femicides are repeatedly played down as "relationship dramas.”

IS has abducted 7,000 women and children

The statement refers to the femicide and genocide in the Shengal region. The crime against humanity began on August 3, 2014, when the IS took possession of the region after the KDP-Peshmerga had fled. According to the SMJE, up to 7,000 women and children were deported. Women and girls were systematically raped, sold as slaves in specially erected slave markets or given away as spoils of war among the IS mercenaries and to sympathizers.”

Shengal Genocide is social trauma

The SMJE continues: "Women and young girls who were later able to be liberated for ransom or who liberated themselves by their own efforts have told of their painful memories of individual, group and mass rape, torture and psychological violence. What happened to the Yazidi women in Shengal has left a deep wound in our consciousness as women worldwide. Sexual violence against women is a deliberately chosen weapon of war. It was intended to break up families and communities. It is not only our sisters who have to live with the aftermath of the traumas, but our entire community.”

Erdoğan continues attacks of the IS

However, even the liberation from the IS has not brought the people in Shengal to safety. Especially the Erdoğan regime threatens the region, says the SMJE and adds:: "Thus Erdoğan continues its barbaric attacks with military equipment that has been upgraded by western states. It attacks Rojava and Shengal with the help of mercenary militias and IS jihadists and leads a drone war using German technology".

The SMJE also points to the aggressions of the Erdoğan regime, which have reached as far as Armenia and Libya, and calls for decisive action against the dictator.