What do you think, Modern – West friends, when you hear “Near-East women” ?
You think: burka, hijab, covered face, covered body, no human rights, violence, powerless …
What do you think when you hear the Near – East ?
You think: Iraq, Iran, maybe Turkey and then all of the “-stan”: Pakistan, Kirghistan, Uzbekistan, Kurdistan …
Well, you did not even notice that you have just mixed many regions together. Well, all of the “-stan” are not the same. Mostly, they all are so different from each other and you can’t compare, for example, Kurdistan and Pakistan.
The sad thing is that still many people see no difference.
It is like putting the whole Europe into one box.
When you already gonna feel the difference between those countries, you should feel the difference between the women role and position in each society, and believe me, Kurdish women are the beautiful exception in the middle of the wrong stereotype.
Powerful, beautiful, honorable, fearless, openhearted, rightful, full of wisdom and dignity.
Why are they like that while their neighbors have a huge problem with women human rights ?
Maybe because Kurds defended themselves for a really long time to just not go through “hardcore” islamization that could result in a country ruled by Sharia Law ( Saudi Arabia ) or kind of “Iranian Revolution”.
Let’s move a bit in time ….
Mentions about Kurdish women as rulers start in early XVII century. Who are the most famous rulers ?
Lady Halima Khanim
The ruler of Bash Kala, in 1847 surrounded to the Ottoman Empire.
Queen of the Ezdinan tribe 1909.
During World War I, Russian Army negotiated with her the passage through her territories.
The ruler of Halabja.
She saved many British lives during her cousin rebellion 1913 ( Shaykh Mahmud ).
Yazidi princess with the biggest influence among Yazidis, the most respected, feared person.
Even Kurdish writers confirm that Kurdish women dance and sing together with men.
Something that is very “normal” in Europe, is also very normal there :).
And even more, they do not veil -“cover their bodies”.
A total maximum is a hijab and it is a woman’s choice to wear it or not (which looks pretty cute, I must say 🙂 )
Of course several decades ago, the problem of honor killing or female circumcision still existed.
Fortunately, the revolutionary spirit of Kurdish women is very strong and they know how to fight for their rights.
In 1958, the Union of Kurdish Women in Iraq put the marriage under civil control and abolished honor killing. In the same time, a Kurdish woman Zakiyya Hakki became the first female judge.
The bravery and strength of Kurdish women led them to a lot of punishments, that the worst were concentration camps and brutal rapes done both by Turkish and Russian armies. Many of them committed suicide just to escape this horror. Do you remember Farinaz Koshravani ?
But did they fall ?
Did they give up ?
As you see, NO !
“Badass” Kurdish women are fighting with the worst enemy nowadays ISIS, they fight for the whole world, not only for their own land.
Most known force of women is YPJ Women’s Protection Units.
In the early 90’s thousands of them joined PKK.
Republic of Mahabad even abolished gender segregation taking women to hard training and fight against Iranian Revolution.
Amazons – Peshmerga Force for Women
Many of them are soldiers but also many are active politicians and revolutionists.
So next time you consider Kurdish women as part of that “hardcore” Islamic world such as Saudi Arabia or you put them into same room with other nations that live just next to them – think twice.
Nisrin Barwari – imprisoned as a 14 – year old girl served in UN, with Master Degree she became a minister of reconstruction and development.
Leyla Zana – the first Kurdish woman in Turkish Parliament, publicly admitted that she is a Kurd and Turkey sentenced her to 15 years in prison !
So, dear women and girls of the West World, is there anything you can learn from Kurdish Ladies ?
Oh I guess, there would be a lot ….