The following speech was delivered on behalf of the Kurdish Women’s Movement by Seval Ulus to the International Women’s Day rally in Melbourne on March 8.
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On the anniversary of the March 8, International Women’s Day, women around the world are continuing to resist against the patriarchal system.
Over a hundred years ago working women stood up against an oppressive system that has raged for thousands of years. This March, their struggle is still echoing on the streets of the world. The resistance against inequality, sexism and violence is growing by the day.
Although on December 16, 1977 the UN accepted March 8 as a day of resistance, in few member states March 8 is recognised as an official public holiday. Nevertheless, women are still exposed to all kinds of discrimination and patriarchal measures.
At the same time, women who organise against this discrimination are being targeted. The attacks against struggling women are becoming institutionalised and it is turning into a systematic assault. The attacks on women that are being carried out across the world are being waged at a level that recognises no boundaries.
Women have always resisted such attacks and they have always been the symbols of solidarity. And they are continuing to do so.
Today, the women of the world are struggling against violent attacks, honour killings, forced marriage, rape, stoning, abuse and circumcision which are now being inflicted on Kurdish Yezidis, Christians, Shi’ites, Muslims, Turkmens, Assyrians and Arab women.
In the 21st century, women are being sold in slave markets. While no states in the Middle East could stand against the enemy of all women that is ISIS, the biggest resistance against ISIS was carried out by the women of Kurdistan under the leadership of the YPJ.
The YPJ’s resistance has raised hopes of freedom in the hearts and minds of all women. The YPJ is fighting on behalf of all humanity against the enslavement of women. Just like women who gave their lives for the struggle of women all those years ago, today the YPJ is fighting to protect the basic values of humanity and the gains of the women’s struggle.
In this regard, the women of Kurdistan are making every day International Women’s Day by relentlessly struggling for the women of the world by making huge sacrifices.
In view of this, we call upon all women to spread the resistance of the YPJ from Sinjar and Kobane to Nigeria, Gaza, Ukraine and wherever women are being subjected to attacks. By embracing this struggle, let us unite the struggle against the system’s most extreme and fascistic attacks!