On Friday 12th January, women gathered in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria in the city of Derek for the first ever conference on Jineology in Northern Syria; the science of women aimed at developing a sociology, and practice behind it, based on truth and equality. Women from every ethnicity and religion of Northern Syria, from all four parts of Kurdistan, and internationalists, joined the conference and expressed their excitement in participating in creating history. The date of the conference was chosen to honour the female comrades who were martyred last year in Qeracox.
The opening speech was made by Fawza Yosif, the co-leader of the DFNS (Democratic Federation of Northern Syria), where she stressed the importance of Jineology for the democratic revolution in society as well as for the military effort against dismantling fascism.
A report of the two years of work was presented, criticising the capitalist system for the formation of shapeless people, contrasting this with the goal of Jineology: to build a free life for all. In this context, research centres and committees have been opened across Northern Syria, education on the subject is given to all men and women working in the democratic institutions, to the fighters of the YPG and YPJ, as well as to school students aged 16-18, and for the first time ever in the Middle East, an all-women’s village is being constructed to put into practice the ideas of a free, ecological, and communal life, based on the empowerment of women.
An open discussion was then initiated, where women gave their views on the work done and suggestions for the future. Criticisms here come in the form of aiming to positively develop each other as comrades working together towards a democratic, free life, and in this way, several were made which will contribute to the development of Jineologys affect on society. One woman emphasised liberalisms special war on the youth; they are shouting about freedom but understanding it in an individualistic way. She suggested that the dogmatisms of education be broken in order to give the youth a true understanding of themselves and freedom.
Another woman said that since seeing Jineology education she began work, but because of the patriarchal mindset of males around her, she still struggles every day to go to work and take an equal role. She claimed that by understanding and practicing Jineology ideas, through our empowerment and participation in society, together we will also give men their freedom. Another woman said that the YPJ is seen like a bright star in the world and that Jineology is also becoming to be seen like a star.
Whilst there are wars between and against almost everybody in the Middle East, this conference has shown what democracy is with the participation of all ethnicities and religions. But she criticised that until now, the basic problem is that the level that is needed has not been reached, as many people see others as smaller. She emphasised that we are all special; everybody must live as who they are, and in this way, work towards freeing ourselves and each other is for all of society to do together.
Her second point was that we have not yet destroyed sexism, and this is not just the work of the YPJ, we can not do this only with weapons: Jineology is the liberation of women. “If we do this, we will be an example for the whole world, we will create a huge belief, and a lot of power for oppressed people everywhere.”
The conference continues tomorrow, with a report on the research on sociology in the perspective of Jineology, followed by an open debate on politics, economy, ethics and aesthetics, demography, education, self-defense, sexism in society, family, existing social problems, and finishes with a perspective on the future.
By Kimmie Taylor
ARTICLES IN OTHER LANGUAGE
Spanish: I Conferencia de Jineoloji en Rojava