Fınal Decleratıon Of The Workshop Of Platform For Struggle For Women Held Captıve By Force
Our platform was established following the Daesh massacre against Yazidis on 3 August 2014 in Shingal in order to raise awareness in Kurdistan and in the Middle East about Daesh occupation and its sexist aspects, to advance and to mobilise women’s organisation.
The platform, in the past year, has visited the Yazidi, Assyrian, Turkmen, Shia, Shabak and Arab communities that have been displaced from their homelands due to Daesh occupation, with a focus on monitoring the situation of women and child victims of the occupation; we have conducted activities in order to develop lines of legal, medical and solidarity actions. Last week we visited the Yazidi camps and local women’s organisations in Shingal and Zakho and exchanged views on demands, needs and methods of common struggle.
We held a workshop on 4 October 2015 in Diyarbakır with the participation of constituents of Kurdish women’s movement and women researchers and representatives of women’s organisations from Turkey, in order to share our activities on the women forcibly held captive by Daesh, to enlarge our action network and to develop a common road map. Today we come together to share the results of the workshop. Our evaluations and observations are below:
- The destruction brought by sexist occupation practices of Daesh is far beyond description. As a matter of fact, we are faced with practices of systematic sexual torture, rape, enslavement, rendering odalisques as the founding elements of the political and social project that codifies the women’s bodies as a patriarchal war and ownership zone.
- The Daesh occupation is being carried out together with sexist war practices against all communities that are not Sunni Muslim. In addition to this, we come across systematic rape and other forms of sexual violence as founding components of the genocide politics of Daesh against Yazidi people.
- Due to Daesh occupation, 400.000 Yazidis have been displaced, just in Shingal. Still, 4.000 to 7.000 women and children, the overwhelming majority of whom are Yazidis, are being forcibly held captive by Daesh
- Women and girls who are kidnapped by Daesh as spoils of war are repeatedly sold at slave and odalisques markets and are held captive in a large geographical area that includes Iraq, Syria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE.
- It is estimated that 1.500 Yazidi women and children were able to escape from Daesh up until today.
- Those that are able to escape seek refuge at the camps where their living relatives reside. All the residents of these camps suffer from insufficient nutrition, accommodation, physical and psychological health, security and social support networks. . The women and children that manage to escape from Daeash and reach these places suffer from such problems at a more acute level and also face exclusion and disdain from their communities.
Based on these findings, our platform has decided to continue its activities with the below action plan:
- Diplomatic activities with the international communities, human and women’s rights organisations in order to rescue women and girls forcefully captured by Daesh will be expedited, common days of action and activity calendars will be developed.
- Diplomatic and legal action will be taken for recognition of the Daesh massacre against Yazidis as ‘genocide’ within the framework of UN Conventions.
- Documents and evidence will be collected and attempts will be made at the UN Security Council in order to ensure all organisations, states and perpetrators are brought before International Criminal Court.
- Establishing communication and developing a common struggle with women’s organisations in countries where women and girls are argued to be sold by Daesh such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE and countries of transit such as Turkey, exposing these states and conducting various activities to this end (petitions, sit in protests, marches, awareness raising videos, letter writing campaigns) will be prioritised.
- Effective use of international press and media is considered to be extremely important in order to raise awareness about the situation of women and girls forcefully captured by Daesh and to develop lines of struggle with multiple actors.
- To this end, we intend to organise campaigns to mobilise internationally known women academicians, legal experts, artists, journalists and authors.
- Partnership with Yazidi women’s organisations that are active in Kurdistan and Europe, on present and future activities is embraced in principle.
- Similarly we predicate on taking actions in solidarity and in cooperation with local authorities in the community, opinion leaders and women’s organisations in order to facilitate acceptance and reintegration of Yazidi women that are able to escape from Daesh and return to their families, into their own communities.
- In addition to these, we will speed up our efforts to establish a Rehabilitation and Empowerment Centre in Diyarbakir for all women who have been subject to the violence of Daesh.
- Finally, we want to announce that local and international women’s organisations will be called to dedicate the week of 25 November for elimination of violence against women to the women held captive by Daesh.
Thank you for your interest and solidarity
Platform for Struggle for Women Held Captive by Force