A visit to HPC-Jin in Derik

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“We used to detest our lives, but now every moment and every day feels like the most beautiful moment of my life.”

A few days ago, as young internationalist women, we had the opportunity to visit different women’s structures here in Rojava and gather personal impressions and ask questions. Especially the visit to HPC Jin in Derik was very impressive and the kindness of the three older mothers who welcomed us there was heartwarming.

HPC-Jin is the autonomous women’s structure of HPC (Hêzên Parastina Civakî), the self-organized social defense forces of Rojava, which are now active in every city. They are also part of the “Democratic Nation” and are directly connected to the defense commissions of the municipalities.

The women of HPG-Jin have three major goals that they pursue with their work, the main ones being the protection of the respective city, women and girls, and the education of women. They try to get women out of their homes and educate them, as most of them still stay in their families and do not leave the house much or at all. The aim is to give them a deeper awareness of the current oppression of women and thus to free them from their passivity towards the feudal patriarchal structures and to transform them into active political individuals again.

In this context, one of the friends tells how difficult the work was for her in the beginning. The issue was that especially the older mothers and women were not trusted and were not accepted by society in their work. However, as time went by, the influence of women grew more and more. They were asked more often about problems, they were trusted more and now more and more women come to participate in the work as well. She also says that she was very afraid of weapons in the past. But after the war broke out and she and all the other women also took on tasks, such as caring for the injured or protecting them from the hospital, her fear began to dissipate and she decided to join this structure.

During the time of the war, when the whole city was surrounded by Daesh, it was a natural development, that also and especially the older women helped to organize and participate in the protection of the city. From this developed a commitment to take greater responsibility for the military defense of their own population with a long-term perspective.

When asked what the realization of the revolution meant to her directly, she answers that it was through the ideology of Abdullah Öcalan that she and other women first gained an awareness of the oppression of women and began to fight against it. During the reign of the Syrian regime, women did not own anything and were not allowed to make decisions about any aspect of their own lives. Life took place in the household in the family, under the omnipresent rule of the husband. Öcalan very aptly commented on the hierarchies in the family: “The family is conceived as a small state of the man.” Breaking free from this oppression is an important step towards women’s liberation.

Nowadays, there are more women than men in the city’s structures, and she feels much freer and more confident than before. However, there are still many women who continue to stay only in the house, because the feudal influence of the man and the family still remain strong. In defense of their ideology, the women of HPC-Jin see it as their responsibility to break down these structures and influences more and more and to build a new, more beautiful life.

Another friend complements what has been said by reporting on how her life has changed as a result of the revolution in Rojava. The pain and suffering over life have disappeared along with the ideology of Abdullah Ocalan. In her words, “Of course, there are still moments when we feel weak, but in our hearts we are always strong!”

The strength and determination that the women of HPC Jin carry in their hearts will continue to play a major role in the development of Kurdistan in the coming months. Especially in times like these, when the threat of war takes on incalculable proportions, the women are ready to fight and beam a love and strength that encourages the people to carry on and defend their revolution together with the women of HPC Jin.

They are the ones who give women worldwide hope for a liberated world, for which we will fight together, as women, as people, as a community!