Saturday, June 21, 2008

Short report of Kurdish Women Righst committee, KNCNA

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am so pleased that I can be with you today. I also feel so honored that this year along with KNC’s anniversary, Women’s Rights Committee celebrates its second year of service. I am humbled to attend as the chair of the Women rights committee.

Today I will attempt to give you a short report of the Kurdish Women Rights Committee’s work and goals.

I would also like to take this opportunity to give you a briefing about the condition of Kurdish women.

Before I begin I must say that I am pleased we have our dear American women activists among us. It is also a pleasure to be able to have other respected activists from the International community in this committee.

(Due to shortage of time, if you would like to know more about the committee’s short and long term mission and vision please refer to the print-outs that will be distributed by Alan and Zaniar.

Today, the Kurdish women are entangled in a chaotic and conflicting situation. On one hand, there are endless laws and policies within the family and social arena that keep reminding women that they are second-class citizens. On the other hand, fast social transformations, especially in recent years, with the detonation of the youth population, have brought about fundamental changes that have caused new crises in the nations.

In some of these changes, women have played the visible role, and therefore have continued to suffer the harshest treatments, but they refuse to go back to their traditional roles.

Many young women, for various reasons, such as forced marriages, restriction on having a boyfriend, not following the traditional dress codes, and even their desire to educate themselves have either run away from their homes or committed or attempted to commit suicide through burning themselves.

The Women Rights Committee, KNCNA was organized as the result of the first International Conference on Kurdish Women for Peace and Equality in order to promote recognition of Kurdish women’s rights to eliminate all forms of discrimination against Women and to promote women’s human rights and rights within families.

WRC was founded on the belief that human rights of Kurdish women and girls—established through legal, political, and educational systems—are essential to the development of Kurdish people as a whole. That the governments and NGOs should be encouraged to understand and apply human rights principles to achieve equality.

I will mention some of KWRC’s activities:

1- Writing a letter to Amnesty International, North African Office regarding stolen Kurdish women during Anfal campaigns In Southern Kurdistan.

2- Public education against Honor Killing: Releasing Press against honor killings following the stoning of Kurdish Yazidi girl, Doa’ Khalil Aswad by her family in Bashiqa(Musl),

3-Press Release for the support of Kurdish Women activist in Eastern Kurdistan(Kurdistan of Iran) who have been detained for being active members of the Campaign for one Million signature change for equality in Iran.

4- Supporting Layla Zana by writing and
blogging about Layla Zan's activities after her detention in Newruz 2008 in Turkey.

5-Press release in Support of Kurdish women activist in Syria who have been detained in Newruz activities.

6- Participating in venues, interviews, speeches regarding Kurdish Women status on different Radio stations and Newspapers, and other media.

7- Initiating a funding project to establish an organization for Kurdish women, by the name of “World Women for Life”. This will work on building a culture of Life. This organization will promote raising culture of life and fighting for a secular state. It is an important step for us.

The following are core objective of the WWFL organization:

• Establishing a center of the organization in Irbil or Sulaimanya to start with, then expanding to other cities in Iraq.

• Holding conferences, seminars, and workshops to advance women rights.

• Sponsoring demonstrations to stop the violence and grief the lost ones as a support to the widows and their children.

• Establishing a center to develop women’s skills to become economically independent. (75% of the women today depend on the man income.)

• Advertising the culture of life over the culture of death via, billboards, newspapers, TV, and Radio campaigns.

• Developing networks between local, national, and international levels to strengthen advocacy efforts for women rights by taking full advantage of the Internet, by creating email lists to communicate directly with women everywhere.

• Creating a resource center and library for women, to collect and document all the injustices committed against women for research in order to find solutions to advance their rights.

• Starting extensive research development to understand the cause of violence and inequality against women. This research will be a focal point to provide National and International NGO’s a comprehensive data to find a just solution facing women today.

• Getting support from Universities in Kurdistan and around the world to create and facilitate the advancement of women rights.

• Building shelters for women to protect them from the cruelties of society and integrate them back with new skills to survive the brutality they are facing alone in within the society.

• Educating women on their health and how they can protect themselves from all kind of diseases.

• Lobbying and advocacy at local, national, and international levels to promote policies and programs for women.

• Capacity building to increase economic, social, and political participation of women at all levels, local, national and international.

• Campaigns and direct intervention through programs on women’s housing, land, and resource rights, food sovereignty, and livelihood security.

• To become an umbrella organization for all existing NGO’s.

• Creating web site for the organization, to let the world know about our goal and objective.

8- Support and participating in all campaigns and petitions regarding Human rights and women’s human rights around the world.

9- Make a linkage and sisterhood culture between Kurdish women among KNC and other women organizations.

10- Follow up with the resolution of International Conference on Kurdish women for Peace and Equality that has been held in Irbil on March 2007.

11-Initiating a 2 years scholarship for training and receiving a M.A. Graduate degree in Marriage and Family therapy to Kurdish women lead by Dr. Sharon Linzy.

12- To prepare the proceedings for the first International conference of Kurdish women for Peace and equality.

The proceeding is a 200 page publication in Kurdish and English. It took 3 months to prepare.

The committee calls for the KNC treasury or any other Kurdish organization that can apply for grants to provide enough money for the publication of the proceedings in order to be sent to all the speakers and writers.

The committee calls upon KRG representative, Dr. Kamal Kirkuki, from Kurdish Parliament to support WWFL project to establish the first center.

13-Participated in United Nation Commission on Status of Women.

14-Press release for March 8th International Women's Day to congratulate all Kurdish women around the world.

I thank you again for staying with me and Dr. Linzy for being in the committee, Dr. Shali, for working on WWFL’s project, Mr. Moradian for all his financial and moral support, and all other supporters within and outside organization.

I have the committee’s profile with me and if you would like to know more about the committee I will remain after the session.

Thank you so much,

Soraya Fallah

M.A International Relations and Law

Chair of the Kurdish Women’s Rights Committee, KNCNA