2016 Call for an International Action Day against Femicide of Êzidî Women
3 August 2016 marks the second anniversary of the Femicide and Genocide by Islamic State (IS; a.k.a. ISI, ISIL or ISID) against Êzidî (Yezidi, Yazidi) people in Sinjar/Shengal. On 3 August 2014 IS attacked and captured Sinjar, which is the historical homeland of the Êzidî Kurdish religious minority whose ancient religion is linked to Zoroastrianism.
IS destroyed Êzidî shrines, executed resisters and asked the residents to swear allegiance or be killed. During the IS massacre in Sinjar around 5.000 Êzidîs were murdered. Around 200.000 peoples managed to escape the massacre. 50.000 Êzidîs took refuge in the Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped without food, water or medical care, facing starvation and dehydration.
At the same time approximately 5.000 Êzidî women and children were abducted. Recognizing women asspoils of war, IS sold them to Muslim men as sex slaves or gave them to I commanders. Those who refuse to convert to Islam were tortured, raped and eventually murdered. Babies born in the dungeons where women are held were taken from their mothers to an unknown fate. Many women raped by IS fighters have committed suicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar. Meanwhile a high number of women managed to flee or be rescued. Approximately some 3.000 women are still held captive by IS.
While the IS offensive against the Êzidî people often is described as a massacre, it displays all characteristics of genocide. But additionally IS is carrying out acts of femicide. Abduction of Êzidî women as spoils of war, enslavement, systematic rape, forced conversion have been integral to not only a systematic policy war against women, but they also constitute acts of femicide.
Êzidî people, especially women in Sinjar have responded the IS-run genocide and femicide campaign by self-organisation and self-defence. Today, Mount Sinjar marks the centre of Êzidî self-organisation in self-defence units and people’s and women’s councils as expression of their collective will.
Nevertheless, the IS threat against Êzidî people in Sinjar continues. Thousands of women still remain in the hands of IS. The possibilities for their liberation will be strengthened by national and international action and solidarity.
As stated in the UN Special Commission’s report dated 16 June 2016, the IS attack on Sinjar constitutes an act of genocide against the Êzidî people and a crime against humanity. We will continue our struggle until the perpetrators of this crimeare tried and pay for their crimes.
As part of this struggle, and on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the IS offensive against the Êzidî people in Sinjar, we call for an “International Action Day against Femicide and Genocide” on 3 August 2016. On this day, constituents of the Kurdish women’s movement shall organise silent demonstrations and protest actions in different parts of Kurdistan and across Europe. We call on you to join us with your creative actions and raise the voice of Êzidî women struggling for their freedom.
Please contact us via the Kurdish women’s organisations that you have relations with for further information, for planning joint actions or sharing your action agenda.
14 July 2016
Şengal Êzidî Women’s Council
Kurdish Women’s Relation Organisation (REPAK)
Kurdistan Free Women’s Organisation (RJAK)
Rassan Organization for Defending Woman Rights
Social Development Organisation
Sazan Women and Human Rights Reunion Organisation
Saya Organisation Strives Against Violence and Gender Discrimination
Work Institute for the Development of Democracy (WID)
Kurdistan Women’s Alliance
Women’s Union of Kurdistan – Zhinan
Zhindrusty Organisation to Obtain Better Health Services for Women
Free Women’s Foundation
Sara Association to End Violence Against Women
Democratic Union Party (PYD) Women’s Branch
Syria Kurdish Left Party Women’s Branch
Syria Kurdish Democratic Left Party Women’s Branch
Kurdistan Communist Party Women’s Branch
Kurdistan Liberal Union Women’s Branch
Syria Kurdistan Democratic Party Women’s Branch
Kurdistan Green Party Women’s Branch
Free National Party Women’s Branch
Platform for Struggle for Women Held in Captivity
Free Women’s Congress (KJA)
Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Women’s Council
Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Women’s Council
Selis Women’s Association
Ceren Women’s Association
Rainbow Women’s Association
Free Women Society of Eastern Kurdistan (KJAR)
Umbrella Organisation of Êzidî Women’s Councils in Germany
Êzidî Youth Union
Central Council of Êzidî Associations
Ceni Kurdish Women’s Peace Office
Hevi Education and Integration Association
Êzidî Kevnas Association
Union of Students from Kurdistan (YXK)
Union of Female Students from Kurdistan (JXK)
Kurdish Peace House Bielefeld
Democratic Alawi Federation (FEDA)
Democratic Union Bielefeld
Socialist Women’s Union (SKB)
Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJKE)
People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) Women’s Council
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Women’s Council
Socialist Women’s Councils (SKM)
Women’s Freedom Council (KÖM)
Foundation for Solidarity with Women (KADAV)
Refugee Rights Association(MHD)
Feminist Atelier (FEMA)
Free Women’s Academy (ÖKA)