News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/Qamişlo) Members of the Communications Union of the Women Of Kurdistan (RAJİN) have met for the first time in Qamişlo in the Cizîre Canton of Rojava. The meeting was organized as part of the YJA’s “Free Women For The Democratic Nation” campaign and was attended by 70 delegates as well as many guests and observers.
In the course of the meeting the assembled delegates moved to establish RAJİN-Rojava – a branch of the union in Rojava. RAJİN is a union of women journalists founded during the Second Women’s Press Conference between September 25-29 2013 held in Kandil. October 7 was also proclaimed as the Day of Female Journalists of Kurdistan at the same conference.
The Qamişlo meeting was organized under the slogan “Let us a develop a free women’s press along the lines of Gurbeteli Ersöz and let us build a free society.” The conference began with a moment of silence to recognize the sacrifices Gurbeteli Ersöz and other female journalists.
In addition to the 70 delegates, the meeting was attended by Yekitiya Star coordinating members İlham Ehmet, Zelal Ceger, Medya Mihemed as well as press units attached to the YPJ.
Medya Mihemed gave the opening address at the meeting, telling delegates and others in attendance that, “we are struggling to win back our free identity which has been taken from us historically. With the decision the Kurdish woman took for freedom with the PKK struggle it has taken the side of free life. We have taken steps to lead toward a free society. Until now when we think of the press we think of a patriarchal mentality. Because male hegemony has establish its dominance over all parts of the press. Only with the struggle waged now is this slowly breaking. Now the will of women has taken an important role in the press. In Rojava important steps have also been taken regarding women. The struggle to impose the color of woman in all areas of the press needs to increase. The struggle which women have waged in the press will be the foundation for a free press.”
Following Mihemed Women’s Minister of the Cizîre Canton Emine Omer addressed the meeting, saying that the work of women journalists would be crucial for expressing the will of women in the revolution as well as spreading the revolution to other peoples.
Rola Helim then spoke in the name of the Syrian Women’s Initiative, before the delegates moved to elect its executive council and some perspectives on the importance of the press from Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan were shared, as well as the impressions of the RAJİN coordinating committee.
The perspectives of the committee read, “the media, which possesses such strong possibilities to direct society, must have respect for a sense of community. A free media has the responsibility to function without diminishing the importance of any segment of society, without forcing them into categories, without breaking them apart, and without putting them into classes. Women, men, children, youth, the elderly, ethnic groups, faith and cultural groups – all of these have a common foundation it is important to grasp this as much as possible and took grasp them along deep truth of life and common values. The established media paints everything in such stark and hard colors that it effects of distortion which possesses a rich, comprehensive understanding. It diminishes and dries up the cultural production of peoples and shows them as backwards and unnecessary, and works to break apart individual and cultural values. It compels the monopolization of national realities. In this sense the media becomes simply space of propaganda and the imposition of the mentality of the monopolist nation-state. This conference we have have held in Rojava functions as a part of this process.”
Among the first decisions taken by RAJİN-Rojava at its foundation meeting was to continue the struggle along the lines laid down by Gurbetelli Ersöz and to recognize the October 7 as the Day of Women Journalists of Kurdistan in the name of Gurbetelli Ersöz. All RAJİN members would undergo ideologically training in order to possess political and organizational consciousness, it was also decided, and that male members of the Free Communications Union (Azad-YRA) on the subject of gender consciousness and daily language.
It was also decided to develop the technical and professionıal capacities of women working in media, and to open a women’s radio station in Rojava as well as a women’s press academy.