An organization that grew out of the Kurdish resistant movement, made worldwide history and monumental change for women around the world, Yuh-Pah-Juh, or the Women’s Protection Unit, formed to defend the Kurdish population against the attacks lead by Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS. Both the YPJ and the YPG (the male partner unit) helped the U.S. to evacuate thousands of Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar after ISIS invaded their towns.
In Syria, where war has broke for more than four years, killing now more than 500,000 people, the women of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) have been credited for their all-female force. This force is YPJ, which has hugely impacted the revolution on the battlefield in Syria, as well as the women’s revolution. It is reported that the women fighters from YPJ have killed over 100 Islamic State fighters. In the defense of Kobani, it was reported also that 40% of the fighting force against ISIS was made up of Kurdish women.
This women’s revolution is not just seen on the battlefield. Kurdish women are also passionately joining the government, which shows huge process excuse of how surpassed women have been in this particular region for hundreds of years. Women make up 30% of the Kurdistan government.
It is about time that the world recognizes the female fighters, as well as their politics. This is something that as a society we should be more familiar with and praise more for their bravery and perseverance.
Some leaders still continue to surprise any women’s movements, due to the traditional status at the core of their Islamist ideologies. It is up to the women to fight for their politics, their gender equality and freedom in Kurdistan and for the Western World, it is up to us to remember these fighters long after the war and be inspired by their bravery to continue fighting for equal rights internationally.
“We can do all the same things that men can do; that women can do everything; that there’s nothing impossible for us. When I was at home, all the men just thought that the women are just cleaning the house and not going outside. But when I joined the YPJ everything changed. I showed all of them that I can hold a weapon, that I can fight in the clashes, that I can do everything that they thought was impossible for women. Now, the men back home changed their opinions about me and other women. Now they see that we are their equals, and that we have the same abilities, maybe sometimes more than them. They understand we are strong and that we can do everything they can.” — Sa-el Morad, 20