The Role Of Kurdish Women In Turkey

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Kurdish women living in Turkey face a difficult choice in terms of their personal freedoms and equality. As Kurds, a prosecuted minority in Turkey, Kurdish women can either conceal their Kurdish identity, or they can live freely as Kurds but enter the world of violence that surrounds the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). For decades, the PKK has been involved in armed rebellion against Turkey in hopes of gaining an independent state, and is considered by Turkey, the US, the UN, and NATO to be a terrorist organization. Although Kurds represent the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East, they lack a independent homeland and instead live in an area of land called Kurdistan, located between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Through murders, …show more content…
In fact, the Turkish police have targeted Kurdish women in hopes of detering them from joining the PKK in hopes of pushing these women to assimilate to Turkish society. However, this oppression has had an opposite effect, and has actually increased momentum for Kurdish women to join the PKK. Under the PKK, Kurdish women are considered equal to men and often hold high ranking positions. This creates an interesting dichotomy. Kurdish women who choose not to advertise that they are Kurdish could thrive within Turkish society, which is considered to be fairly equal when it comes to gender biases. However, if a women chooses to reveal her Kurdish heritage she is subject to discrimination, unfair gendered inequality, and potential harm. Openly The only way to find gender tolerance as an openly Kurdish women is to join the PKK. The dichotomy for Kurdish women means that to have gender equality Kurdish women need to either hide their Kurdish roots and live among other Turkish women or fight for to preserve their Kurdish identity in an arms rebellion with the …show more content…
Recently, the PKK has been targeted in a bigger Turkish security crack-down because of the July 2016 coup attempt but Kurds continue to advocate for gender equality. The main Kurdish party in the Turkish parliament, Peace and Democracy, now applies a minim women’s quota and always has a man and a woman as joint part president. Furthermore, according to a PKK Spokesperson, Zagros Hiwa, the new movement in the PKK is, “a bottom-up approach and it is based on grassroots participation,” that hopes to bring women into the political sphere and bring political activist who will advocate for Kurdish rights. Around the Middle East the PKK is one of the most progressive feminist movements and although it seems unlikely for oppression against Kurd to deteriorate any time soon, the movement still and will continue to stand as a source of inspiration for many women. For the time being, Kurdish women must continue to choose between hiding their Kurdish roots or fighting for

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