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Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute
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Chiara Bottici
Lisa Rubin

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100 Reasons to Prosecute the Dictator

Feminicide is defined as the massacre of women and the killing of women with direct state responsibility. This responsibility of the state includes, delayed legal punishment and impunity. Feminicide refers to the totality of the violations of humanity that characterize the crimes against women and their disappearance. Feminicide is a comprehensive, structurally anchored war against women – both in armed conflicts and in everyday life. This war takes place on a physical, military level as well as on an ideological and psychological level.

These definitions according to international legal norms give us enough reason to suggest that Erdoğan is a dictator and that he should be prosecuted for his crimes. The dictator Erdogan, who operates as the president of Turkey, has a male-dominated, fascist and racist mentality that targets Kurdish women in a conscious, planned and specific way. In 18 years of AKP rule, Erdoğan has become the main perpetrator behind the system of state-executed massacres, killings and rape of women.

With this campaign, we want to expose and draw attention to the feminicidal policies of the AKP. We want to seek justice and demand prosecution for Erdoğan. We want to be a voice for all women in the world who are subjected to violence, and draw attention to all state crimes against women. We want to put an end to the violence against women committed in the Turkish Republic on a feminicidal scale, where one woman is killed by male violence every day. With this campaign, we want feminicide to be internationally recognized as a crime against humanity. Add your signature to our demands. No tolerance of feminicide.

From Asia to Africa, from Europe to the Americas, around the world, women are resisting against the physical, cultural, social, political, and economic attacks of the capitalist and patriarchal civilization. Militarism, nationalism, religious fundamentalism, sexism and positivist science doctrines are condemning women and peoples around the world to a life of violence, dispossession and lack of freedom. These assaults on women’s bodies, lives, and thoughts are part of a comprehensive effort to undermine and destroy the historic collective achievements of women in the recent decades. The women’s liberation struggle, which symbolizes one of the most radical stances of the global movements for democracy, equality, justice, and freedom, is under attack by the same forces that destroy the planet, incite war, and spread exploitation and violence on a daily basis.

The threat that the women’s struggle presents to the dominant system cannot be denied; the rise of feminicide against political women is a heinous testimony to that. Evidently, the new transnational alliances built between women’s liberation struggles is one of the greatest dangers to the patriarchal system, which is upheld by capitalism and the nation-state. The attacks on the women’s revolution in Rojava and northern Syria – a historic alliance of Arab, Kurdish, Syriac, Assyrian, Turkman and Armenian women – epitomize that.

Today, even those rights that seemed to have been secured after decades – if not centuries -of women’s struggles for equality, are at risk. around the world, we observe a backlash against women’s right to bodily self-determination. The rise of right-wing movements and governments have led to systematic assaults on the right to abortion, to work, to equal pay, and to politically organize against oppression. Neoliberal policies are further devaluing women’s labor, which is constantly rendered invisible and undeserving of recognition or compensation. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the patriarchal policies in one context empower those in different parts of the world. This male dominated solidarity is an attack on women and life itself. It can only be broken with a radical women’s defense front to protect society and nature from extinction.

As Sara Free Women Collective representing Kurdish Women’s Movement, we say that the 21st century will be the era of women’s revolution. This is not an abstract claim, but rather an insight we gain from the many struggles around the world. In Latin America, women have been at the forefront of fighting for autonomy over their lives. Their objections to feminicide and male-dominated control over their bodies has been a source of inspiration for people around the world. Across Asia and Africa, including the Middle East region, women are active parts of the fights against exploitation, imperialism, state violence and ecocide, in addition to their struggles for women’s liberation. We are inspired by the resistance of women from Sudan to Palestine, from Argentina to India, from Poland to Afghanistan.

In Kurdistan, women have been building and rebuilding a free life in the aftermath of large-scale state violence and genocide. They have been creating new models for self-determination and revolution, offering perspectives and common platforms for women’s struggles around the globe. The Êzîdî women of Şengal (Sinjar) are organizing their lives autonomously after the 2014 feminicide-genocide caused by ISIS. The displaced women from the northern Syrian regions under Turkish occupation are resisting the feminicidal warfare of the second largest NATO army on a daily basis, even in displacement camps. Inside Turkey, women are the most powerful front against the dictatorial, authoritarian government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) under Erdogan. Despite politicide, imprisonment, feminicide, and harassment, women continue their resistance, from the prisons to the streets. Our current campaign “100 Reasons” is a worldwide action to prosecute the sexist and feminicidal mentality in the personage of Erdogan. For these individual and local resistances to last, for them to echo globally, for them to radically transform the world – we must unite!

In solidarity with the Kurdish women’s movement in Europe. During March 1-8, we are inviting you to sign and circulate a campaign called 100 Reasons to Prosecute Erdoğan for his Feminicidal Policies. The campaign seeks to publicize the crimes against women carried out by the Turkish government both domestically and in the regions under Turkish attack and occupation, most importantly Rojava. The campaign also calls for the recognition of all forms of feminicide as crimes against humanity. The first step of this campaign is to collect 100,000 signatures. Please sign here.

For this Women’s month, we hope that you will continue to support and help us defend Rojava, where an innovative autonomous self-government based on women’s liberation, pluralism, direct democracy, and social ecology continues to flourish despite the attacks by Turkey. Women’s leadership is enshrined in Rojava’s Social Contract and fully integrated at every level of social, political and military institutions through such mechanisms as 40 percent quotas, a co-chair system (one man, one woman) and autonomous women’s structures that exist throughout all institutions. Separate women’s military units and mixed units, some under women’s command, successfully defeated ISIS in 2014-2017. The level of women’s participation in public life already achieved in Rojava is unparalleled in most of the world and could be a model for the Middle East and beyond.

Once again, as the Kurdish Women’s Movement, we renew our call to build World Women’s Democratic Confederalism and we call on everyone to join the women’s strikes this 8th March. Formulating our demands and objections collectively, unifying the local and the global, developing common struggle fronts is more important than ever.

We must unite our struggles and defend ourselves, other women, and society against feminicide! We call on all women to rally once again on this year’s 8th March International Women’s Day against fascism, sexism, nationalism, and all forms of violence and patriarchy. Let us expose all the ugliness of the male dominated system and build the foundations for a free life by struggling together. Let us turn every sphere of life into an occasion of struggle and remember: fascism will be defeated, women will be victorious!

Bijî 8ê Adarê! Jin, jiyan, azadî! Long live 8th March! Women, life, freedom

By Elif Genc

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