Throughout North and East Syria, women marked International Women’s Day with marches, rallies, seminars, special events, and declarations. They acknowledged the gains in women’s freedoms that have occurred, while also vowing to continue the struggle for equality, human rights, and power to control their own destinies. They danced, enjoyed music, and relished the freedom to exist as women. At the same time, they lifted their voices in the fight for women’s rights, with chants of “Jin Jiyan Azadi!”
The Women’s Office of the Syrian Democratic Council held a seminar entitled, “Women Through the Times.” Notable figures attended from the women’s councils, as well as local women’s rights advocates and officials. The writer Fawzia Al-Marai gave a moving speech on the history of the women’s role in the region and globally. Participants underscored the inherent equality of women and men in all capabilities and under the law.
In Kobanê, North and East Syria, women in the city center performed a traditional halay dance, then participated in a march and demonstration. In Aleppo, a march of young women was joined by other women in traditional Kurdish dress and carried placards of YPJ martyrs. In the district of Qamishlo, a march began at the Syriac Martyrs Junction, while women in Amude started a march at Martyr Cihad Square, and a another march began in front of the Kongra Star Headquarters in Tirbespiye. Events in the street to commemorate the day also occurred in Çilaxa, Girkê Legê, Til Koçer, Dêrik and Til Hemis.
In Manbij, a march occurred that included thousands of men and women, marching for women’s rights. In both Raqqa and Tabqa, women in traditional dress were joined by local military and civil society groups, and were attended by local officials and politicians as well.
Overall, tens of thousands marched and held special events to support women’s rights in North and East Syria, in support of a common vision for women’s futures.