Roj Women to participate in DÖKH’s Middle East Women’s Conference at Amed

12. 5. 2013 – MESOP  : – DÖKH, the Democratic Freewomen Movement, (Demokratik Özgür Kadın Hareketi) will host its first Middle East conference in Amed (Diyarbakir) from 31 May to 2 June 2013. Roj Women will join DÖKH in this historical meeting.

The Middle Eastern geography that we live in goes through an immense and rapid process of political, social and economic change. While the systems predicated on denial and massacre of peoples, cultures, and historical and social values rapidly disintegrate, the stance and role of women in this disintegration process pose historical importance.

Both the existing systems of status quo and structures emerging anew fail to go beyond the approaches that disregard women, entrench her absolute state of slavery, and prison her to death by perpetuating denial, violence, torture, rape and massacre.

In this process of change and transformation, the struggle that we, the Middle Eastern women wage, bears such value and importance that will seal the fate of not only our geography, but also of us as women. The more the struggle organized and waged in the leadership of women for a free and democratic Middle East and then life is extended, the more it may gain strength and accomplish its aimed results. The structures and systems where women cannot participate in decision-making and representative processes and/or express themselves directly and freely, bring tremendous threats and losses with regards to the entirety of rights and gains the women obtain/strive to obtain through their proud resistance.

In the face of these facts, specifying how the women’s color, language, rights, will, identity and gender justice shall find a place in the newly emerging systems and how to wage a struggle for this purpose, along with weaving the lines of common resistance, come up as undeferrable, urgent necessity in the existing state of affairs, for us, the women in the Middle East as a whole.

To this end, Democratic Freewomen Movement organizes the “1st Middle East Women’s Conference” on 31 May-2 June, 2013, in Amed (Diyarbakır), with the motto “Woman, Life, Freedom” (in Kurdish: “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi”).

The conference aims to:

    Elicit a perspective of common stance and struggle based on the comprehensive evaluation of the lived political and social developments in the region from the viewpoint of women,

    Arrive at a perspective of effective struggle against racist nation-state structures, the hegemonic capitalist system, and problematic approaches to women by religions and political Islam which are instrumentalized by tyrannical powers,

    Weave the lines of a common democratic women’s struggle and enhance the existing organizational capabilities by extending women’s will and struggle for freedom from local to the regional level,

    Create a common ground for discussion, acquaintance and sharing of mutual experiences in the current process of regional reshaping, with a view to take part in this newly emerging system as Middle Eastern women, with the rights, color, will and identity, as well as justice, of our own.

On behalf of DÖKH (Democratic Freewomen Movement)

                          Aysel Tuğluk                           Gültan Kışanak

                        DTK Co-Chair                             BDP Co-Chair

        (Democratic Society Congress)       (Peace and Democracy Party)

Draft Conference Agenda:

In memory of Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan, Leyla Şaylemez…


Li Rojhelata  Navîn de Jin, Jiyan, Azadi!

Dates: 31 May – 2 June, 2013

Place: Amed (Diyarbakır) / Turkey

Venue: To be determined

Languages: Kurmanji/Arabic/Turkish/Sorani/English

Hours: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm

Presentation Duration:10-12 minutes (for speakers),  5 minutes (for delegates)

The conference includes 3 topical sessions, one session held per day. Following the presentations, each session will also comprise a discussion section for expression of participant views.

The sessional topics proposed for the conference are as follows:

1st Day: May 31, 2013, Friday

The Social History of Women and the Construction of Gender Discrimination in the Middle East

In this session, with an aim to unravel the social history of women and to convict the construction of gender discrimination in the Middle East;

    Women’s history in the Middle East,

    Construction of gender discrimination in the Middle East,

    The process of colonization and nationalism in the Middle East,

    Firm laicist systems instrumentalized by tyrannical powers and issues around political Islam’s problematic approach to women,

2nd Day: June 1, 2013, Saturday

The Women’s Movements Experience in the Middle East and its Role in Recent Political Changes

In this session, to provide a ground for achieving mutual recognition and understanding through sharing of the women’s movements experience;

    Women’s resistance role and their search of freedom in the revolutionary processes in the Middle East,

    Political constructs developing to the detriment of women’s rights in the process of change, and struggles against them,

    Women’s rights in the Middle East; issues around expression, participation, decision, and representaion in civil, political, and public life,

    Stoning to death, familialism, feodal appropriation, polygamy, female circumcision, seclusion, child marriage and other related issues in the Middle East,

    Neo-liberal politics of capitalist modernity on women,

3rd Day: June 2, 2013, Sunday

Common Problems Faced by Women’s Movement Struggles in the Middle East and Possible Solutions

In addition to the geographical and social commonalities experienced by women,

    Common organizational models,

    Structural problems (alieantion, miscommunication, etc.),

    Weaving and enhancement of common lines of struggle,

    How to imagine a democratic society model based on women,

are the topics proposed for discussion. Sessions are designed to promote a ground so as to develop forms of solidarity and struggle for proliferation of models that are sensitive to the gender-based requirements of justice, equality, democracy and freedom struggles.