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Gender

Post-Traumatic Growth: Rhetorical Listening & Kurdish Women’s Voices

Background In 2014, I took part in a pilot initiative aimed at gathering stories from Kurdish women. The project “Many Women, Many Words” sought to uncover the untold stories of women in Kurdistan during the period of Saddam Hussein’s rule and the Kurdish resistance. Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region within Iraq, experienced a deliberate genocide orchestrated […]

The ‘Ungrievable’ lives of Kurdish Women Kolbers

Kurdish women Kolbers are some of the most invisible segment within wider Kurdish society. Their labor, suffering, injuries and deaths are rendered invisible in the greater scheme of nationalist struggle. Due to the extreme nature of their work, ‘Kolbers’ are typically portrayed as a group of men who cross the Kurdistan borders (Iran, Turkey, Iraq, […]

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): The Hidden Shame of Kurdish Women

Kurdistan remains a widely occupied and terrorized terrain. For decades various forms of colonial and imperial violence has been imposed on the Kurds, ranging from ethnic cleansing, genocides, chemical weapons, mass execution of fighting-aged males, bombardments, systemic environmental destruction including widespread destruction of thousands of villages, forced migration and violent assimilation policies and more. The […]

The Unfathomable Charisma of Hapsa Khan

Challenges in Documenting the Historical Role of Kurdish Women The nature of the ‘Kurdish Question’ has ensured that Kurdish women have historically played a prominent role in the liberation of their people across the four parts of Greater Kurdistan. More recently, at least since 2001 there has been intense interest in the historical and modern […]

Poisoned Schoolgirls: The Illegitimacy of Iran (IRI)

In the midst of the Jin, Jiyan, Azadî (Woman, Life, Freedom) protests last autumn, which were triggered by the police murder of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Jina (Mahsa) Amini, reports emerged of poisonings of schoolgirls and university students throughout wider Iran and Eastern Kurdistan (northwest Iran). In November 2022, students in Qom and Isfahan reported […]

Kurdish Mother Goddess Ana: Origins & Traditions

In Kurdish religions and mythology a cosmological figure, Ana, is the goddess of water and rain.[1] Associated with fertility, wisdom, and healing, she looks after the well-being of women, promoting fertility and safe childbirth. Flowing down from the mountain springs to lakes, her life-giving waters ensure the survival of the holy creation. In the Kurdish […]

Mira Ibrahim: On Giving Voice to the Kurds of Occupied Afrin

In early 2018, when Turkey’s dictator Erdoğan announced his intention to attack and invade the Kurdish canton of Afrin (Efrîn), one of the three liberated areas of Rojava (north Syria), many Kurds in the diaspora knew that another period of intense activism was going to be required. Then, as the Turkish military began indiscriminately shelling […]

A Solution for a Freer Iran: Democratic Confederalism

Achieving freedom in Iran raises more questions than it answers. Is it possible to have self-determination without every ethnicity having a separate nation state? How serious are we about the liberation of national minorities and women? Could we overcome centralized domination by implementing the liberal notion of freedom understood as non-interference? Or does national and […]

Azadî in the Homeland & inside the Home

International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8th, honors women worldwide for their accomplishments, bravery in the pursuit of equal rights, and resistance to gender-based violence. But this year, the 2023 International Women’s Day had a special relevance in Eastern Kurdistan, Balochistan, and Ahwaz – because of the ongoing revolution taking place throughout ‘Iran’. A […]

Kurdish Women of Afrin: Targets of Occupation

In January 2018, Turkey’s military launched an unprovoked cross border operation against the Afrin (Efrîn) region of Rojava in northwest Syria. The military invasion was cynically named “Operation Olive Branch” (an Orwellian reference to somehow offering peace through war), which went on to cause massive infrastructural damage and civilian suffering to those in the city […]

Kurdish Women: Pioneers of Struggle Against Iran’s Regime

“Although the enemy thinks their captivity will silence me, let them know that every corner of a prison cell is a library. My thoughts of freedom only expand in captivity. Doomed are those enemies who believe prison will break us.” — Zara Mohammadi, after being released (February 2023) The modern history of the Kurdish people […]

Jin, Jiyan, Azadî and Confederalist Feminism

Jin, Jiyan, Azadî (woman, life, freedom), a Kurdish slogan, is the leading motto for a revolutionary movement in Iran since September 16, 2022. It was triggered by the killing of Jîna Aminî at the hands of the infamously brutal ‘morality’ police. Since then, men and women have been chanting Jin, Jiyan, Azadî across Iran. This […]

Women’s Rights in the KRG: Q&A with Karwan Jamal Tahir

With a women’s-led revolution brewing in neighboring Iran and the Kurdish women’s slogan of “Women, Life, Freedom” (Jin, Jiyan, Azadi) being shouted in Parliaments around the globe, the focus on women’s rights and equality in the Middle East has never been more prescient. In light of this, Dr. Shilan Fuad Hussain – a Marie Curie […]