21 February 2014 – hawarnews – The Germany-based Deutsche Welle (DW) served a report under the title of “Women join the Kurdish fight in Syria”. The journal drew attention the role of women in People’s Defense Units (YPG) and noted: “Syrian Kurds are fighting for an autonomous region in the northeast of the country.
They have largely managed to drive out Assad’s troops. Now they’re fighting the Islamists. A third of the fighters are women.”
It was stated in the report: “The YPG was officially founded in 2012 in an attempt to keep Syria’s civil war from spreading into the region. In effect, the entire region is isolated from the outside world because the Syrian Kurds’ attempts at self-rule aren’t welcomed by all their neighbors. Ankara fears a Kurdish uprising in Turkey should the Syrian Kurds’ model succeed. The Iraqi government entertains sympathies for Syria’s Kurds, but remains guarded as long as it is not clear who is to rule in Damascus in the future.”
‘Women have opportunity to shape their own lives’
“But now, for the first time, Syrian Kurds – above all the women – have the opportunity to shape their own lives. Women make up 35 percent of the 45,000 fighters. ‘Women used to be suppressed and exploited in our society, and regarded as inferior by the men,’ Eylem says ‘Now we have the chance to be role models for Kurds and for other ethnicities – for instance, for Arab women’.” noted DW.
‘Women will decide the future’
It added: “The Kurdish party PYD has also introduced a women’s quota of 40 percent, and the party’s executive is half women. Co-chairwoman to Asya Abdullah is fully dedicated to her political work and equality. She is convinced that ‘women have become the benchmark.’ And she continues, ‘In some sectors, women have become so dominant that now men are demanding a quota.’ Not every man is happy about that, she says, laughing. Even the male member of the regional parliament who’s sitting beside has to laugh at that, but he doesn’t contradict.
‘Kurds may turn out to be winners of Syrian conflict’
The Kurdish women’s great role model is the leader Abdullah Öcalan. The leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who spent 20 years of his life in exile in Syria, repeatedly demanded the liberation of women. Many Kurdish families still display his photo in their living room, and Öcalan’s nickname Apo is sprayed on numerous buildings. In their fight for autonomy, the Kurds may turn out to be the winners of the Syrian conflict – as long as they aren’t pulverized amid the conflicting interests of Syria’s neighbors