Shoulder to shoulder, we will guarantee freedom through organizing ourselves

YPJ statement about the campaign: “Against the attacks of the hegemonic man, we stand alongside the women of Afghanistan and Shengal”

Shoulder to shoulder, we will guarantee freedom through organizing ourselves

Nine years have passed since ISIS carried out a genocide in Shengal on the 3rd of August 2014. The military forces of the KDP abandoned the Yazidi people there, ISIS’ barbaric gangs murdered them, and the international community watched silently. On August 15th, 2021, the Taliban organization seized power in Afghanistan with the same mentality as that of ISIS. In the name of a peace agreement, the Taliban came to power and with the authorization, support and collaboration of the international powers, the Taliban committed crimes against humanity.

Regarding this, we respectfully commemorate the Yazidi and Afghan people, particularly the children and women who were murdered in massacres. We strongly condemn those hostile attacks on women, which are also attacks on life itself. We pay tribute to the heroic martyrs who were willing to turn themselves into human shields and who took up arms to defend the people against massacres, ultimately giving their life.

In Afghanistan, under the guise of religion, thousands of women have been expelled from all spheres of life. Women activists, parliamentarians, journalists, doctors, and lawyers have been barbarically murdered. Dozens of imprisoned women have been subjected to sexualized violence. Humanity has witnessed the most barbaric of massacres, all carried out underpinned by the same mentality. In the 21st century, in front of the eyes of the world, women have been intentionally subjected to murder, kidnaping and rape. They have been sold on slave markets. Despite those murderous and barbaric attacks, Afghan and Yezidi women have not accepted to be cast as slaves and have reached out to the world. This is why we greet their resistance with the deepest respect and give our promise to all the women who have been victims of the attacks of male oppression, that we will enhance and deepen the struggle of women’s liberation from Rojava to Shengal to Afghanistan.

We know that our languages and place might differ, but the attacks on women stem from the same hegemonic male mentality. By targeting women, these attacks try to make societies and humanity live a life without dignity, culture and ethics.

The mentality that is responsible for the attacks on the societies in Shengal and Afghanistan can be found everywhere. In our territories in North and East Syria, our comrades who fought ISIS on the ground are now being attacked with targeted assassinations. Arabic women who joined the struggle for freedom within the Rojava Revolution are being killed at the hands of ISIS sleeper cells and the Turkish state. In our areas occupied by the Turkish state, like Afrin, Sere Kaniye and Gire Spi, women are being kidnapped, raped and murdered on a daily basis. The assassination of the intellectual activist Nagîhan Akarsel in Suleymaniya, the killing of Jîna Amini in Eastern Kurdistan, the murder of the vanguard of the Kurdish Freedom Movement Evîn Goyî in Europe, and the murder of activist Mursel Nebîzade in Afghanistan – all were carried out with the same mentality and politics of the dominant male and capitalist modernity.

The massacres that are carried out against women in different places of the world show us again that the dominant male mentality, acting according to the hegemonic powers of capitalist modernity, aims to oppose resisting, smart and organized women. The way of stopping this murderous mentality is self-defense and collective organization of women worldwide. The only solution for the murderous catastrophe that the system of capitalist modernity is bringing is to increase the intensity of our struggle for freedom.

As the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) we join the campaign launched by the Kurdistan Women’s Community (KJK) movement and we say: “Against the attacks of the hegemonic man, we stand alongside the women of Afghanistan and Shengal.” As YPJ, we found our strength of self-defense and built ourselves up on the basis of Reber Apo’s philosophy of the free woman. Reber Apo showed us the way out of slavery. With the participation of Arab, Assyrian, Turkmen and Internationalist women, we have reached out to the women of the world, and we are defending the project of the Democratic Nation.

The same spirit of joint struggle that saw the YPJ and the guerilla units of YJA-Star fight together to save the Yazidi women from the barbarism of ISIS and lay the basis for the founding of the Yezidi Women Forces (YJŞ), and saw Afghan women support the YPJ during the Battle of Kobane and Sere Kaniye, will be the spirit that brings an end to the system of the hegemonic male.

In opposition to the attacks on Shengal that were carried out by the gangs of capitalist modernity, ISIS, and those of the Taliban in Afghanistan, we, as fighters of the YPJ, repeat that we will always stand beside the Yazidi and Afghan women.

As YPJ, we will make concrete steps to increase the women’s struggle for liberation:

– Against the oppressive male mentality, we will strengthen our self-defense, both on an ideological level as per the Women’s Liberation Ideology as well on a physical level in the framework of legitimate self-defense.

– Just like we shared our experiences of combat and self-defense with the women of Shengal, we are ready to pass our experiences to the women of Afghanistan too.

– As YPJ we are prepared to shoulder a historical responsibility in order to build up a system of worldwide women’s self-defense.

We know that the righteous struggle of the women in Shengal and Afghanistan is also our struggle. This is why, despite all the pressures, attacks, murders and sexual violence, we will never take a step back and we will defeat the enemies of women and life. Wherever we are, as women we take our strength from one another. We will avenge Mursel Nebîzade from Afghanistan, Jîna Amînî from Eastern Kurdistan, Bêrîvan Êzîdî from Shengal and all women, and we will fight for a future of freedom for all women and humanity.

Long live the resistance of the women in Afghanistan and Shengal!
Death to the mentality of the hegemonic man!
Long live the women’s comrade Reber APO!
Jin, Jiyan, Azadî! – Women, Life, Freedom!

YPJ General Command