Kurdistan Democratic Women’s Union delegates in SIW, with Dr. Kwestan Gadani as a representant

2017-03-01 19:07:15

Text and photos: Hanna Ghaderi


The third and last day started with the speech of the newly ratified president Ouafa Hajji. The president demanded cooperation between the members and believed that the present is the time to further engage in relations. The encouragement was not only meant for the members themselves, but across the eleven different regions of the Socialist International Women. This urge from president Hajji was in order to contribute, and better fulfil their assessments in the future. Following, the recently elected vice-presidents shortly presented their plans to better their region. The representant of the Middle East, Hilal Dokuzcan simultaneously asked for better cooperation and promised to immediately host a meeting for the Middle East region as soon as possible this regional meeting Dokuzcan will put forward a plan for her four years as a vice president.

During the second session, Shazi Marii from Pakistan held a presentation where she elaborated on the Pakistani progress, and how their late prime minister empowered women and ensured their safety by implementing separate police stations for women and ensuring that there were female federal judges. In addition, she declared that there still is a long way to go, and that women should continue to compete with men in order to gain decision-making positions in governments. Further, Marije Laffeber, president of PES, spoke about the refugee situation we have met in the past two years, the cooperation situation in Europe, advantages and disadvantages with the cooperation and on refugees in general. Laffeber then put an extra focus on women and children during the tree stages of refugee, origin, transit and destination.

The third session gave the participants and the representatives from the different countries the opportunity to elaborate on subjects that had not been discussed yet. During this session the representant from Kurdistan Democratic Women’s Union, dr. Kwestan Gadani, shed some light on several points which were received with a room filled with applause. Briefly summarised, Gadani enlightened the crowd on the legislation that the parliament in Iran recently approved of which forces women to retire earlier. If this legislation is approved by the Guardian Council and the Assembly Detection system, one million of the three million women working will be forced out of their positions. This will certainly have a great impact on the Kurdish part of Iran. As the SIW previously has stated, the economy is crucial to minimise the gender gap. Dr. Gadani then expressed the Kurdish women’s expectations to the regional vice president for the middle east, to be alert and quickly deal with these types of proposals which further increases the gender gap between men and women.

Another point that was enlighted by dr. Gadani was how the Kurdish women had counted on the support of the SIW. The SIW is an independent organisation, both by management and politically. Therefore, the Kurdish women had an expectation to the SIW; that their actions and plans would be more independent and ground-breaking. She also explained how Kurdish women struggle for equality and for human rights every day, and pointed out that several of the members of the congress had been to Kurdistan and has seen this with their own eyes

how actively Kurdish women fight for their rights. This cannot, and should not be ignored, dr. Gadani underlined.

She also brought up several examples, for instance how the situation of Kurdish women has been for the past two years, how they have survived the wrath of Daesh. The fact that they have been the victims of rituals and violence, and fought alongside men. Dr. Gadani also spoke on the recent heart breaking case of Shifa Gardi, the journalist from Rudaw who lost her life covering the war against extremism, and then pointed out that she was Kurdish, not Iraqi. She also referred to Farzaneh Jalali who was recently imprisoned, due to her work for women and human rights. In addition, the participants were told about the devastating faith of Mahdiz Mirqawami who committed suicide after imprisonment was Kurdish, not Iranian.

And how there are hundreds of other similar cases.

The representant from the Kurdistan Democratic Women’s Union then moved to ask the entire congress, the executive committee and particularly the vice president of the middle east to acknowledge these women as Kurdish. She urged them not to identify them with other nationalities. Dr. Gadani explained how the Kurds are aware that Kurdistan is not an independent country, but this does not mean that the SIW should disregard the Kurdish people.  She emphasised how the Kurds count on their solidarity and support.

The Socialist International Women passed two declarations and one resolution. The resolution contained eight points on gender inequality in the world today, understanding the new challenges and ending gender inequality by 2030. The first declaration

referred to solidarity with Colombia, as women play an important role in the framework of the end of the conflict. The second declaration was a call for a general strike in order to show their dissatisfaction about gender violence on the 8th of March. The declarations will be published and elaborated on in the foreseeable future.  

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