The Women Weaving the Future 2nd International Conference 2022 gathers 700 participants
Led by the Kurdish Women's Movement, The Women Weaving the Future II International Conference 2022, gathered 700 participants from nearly 50 countries and kicked off in Berlin on November 5th. The struggle against racism, nationalism and fascism, and the need to build an anti-fascist women's front were also among the topics discussed in the workshops.
In her opening speech, Melike Yasar, Diplomacy Spokesperson of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe, spoke about the violation of women's rights and the struggle of women for freedom in different countries around the world.
Yasar saluted revolutionary women who are held hostage as political prisoners by patriarchal regimes that want to make life unendurable, and those who continue to fight for freedom in prisons, saying, "We promise that we will make their utopia come true. On behalf of the Women Weaving the Future Network, I would like to conclude with the slogan that has resonated across the world in recent weeks, to voice it in this hall where hundreds of resisting women from around the globe are present. This slogan reflects our philosophy of life, our promise of freedom, and is an inspiration of the women of Kurdistan to the freedom movements all over the world - against patriarchy, against capitalism, against all forms of fascism: Jin - Jiyan - Azadi! [Woman - Life - Freedom]"
Moderated by Meghan Bodette, Research Director of the Kurdish Peace Institute in the US, Session I, titled “World War III and Smashing the Armor of Immunity of the State and the Dominant-Male”, discussed what could be done on the revolutionary women's front in our age of wars, occupations, ecological crises and epidemics.
State violence against society and women
Underlining that the hegemonic system is developing new methods and policies to hide and distract attention from the fundamental conflicts of our age while continuing its patriarchal war against women and women's resistance, the first part discussed how an alternative line of struggle can be built against the patriarchal system's policies of internalizing women's struggle into the system.
Nilüfer Koç, a member of the Kurdistan National Congress KNK, and a representative of the Revolutionary Women's Association of Afghanistan RAWA, whose name cannot be disclosed for security reasons, spoke in the panel, underlining that the women's struggle must go beyond just improving the system, such as legal rights and access to abortion, and that it must develop the capacity to fight against patriarchy at all levels of society, from state violence to the dominant male mentality.
Lolita Chavez from Feministas Abya Yala in Guatemala, and Ariel Saleh, sociologist and ecofeminist from Australia, spoke in the session titled "Ecocide: Dismantling Domination, Dispossession, Oppression: the Subordination and Colonisation of Nature and the Ruthless Appropriation and Exploitation of Resources." The participants pointed out how they are resisting against lethal practices of multinational corporations and new forms of colonialism in different parts of the world.
The speakers emphasized that the ecological crisis has entered into the agenda of humanity as the most urgent global crisis, and that this crisis also produces continuous violence against women. The panel called for the struggle against ecocide to become a fundamental principle of the struggle against the patriarchal system.
The session titled "Making Invisible Labor Visible: The Survival of the System Is Based on Women’s Unpaid and Lowpaid Labor" discussed how the class struggle based on the principle of women's emancipation can become a fundamental factor in the struggle against the foundations of capitalist exploitation.
Women’s labor is more exploited
Genevieve Vaughan, a peace activist and feminist working in the US and Italy, and Kavita Krishnan from the All India Progressive Women's Association, elaborated on the perspective of women engaged in class struggle againt the class hierarchy and the state apparatus that is built on the exploitation of women.
The speakers gave powerful examples from their home countries, explaining that under current capitalist conditions, women's labor is even further exploited and rendered invisible.
Women's liberation as a strategic struggle: Resisting forced migration and ecology
The first day of the conference continued with women's workshops after the panels. In the workshops, where the struggle against forced migration was discussed in order to overcome the problems caused by it and to defend the right of people to live wherever they want by overcoming the borders drawn by nation states, it was pointed out that in the strategic struggle for women's freedom, there is a need for a resistance front that establishes a connection with the struggle of women to protect and liberate their own lands.
The workshops discussed what organizations, associations, and businesses can do in the political, cultural, and economic spheres to take a direction that places women's liberation at the center, and what can be done in the health sector, which is one of the areas where patriarchy dominates by usurping, ignoring, or appropriating women's creative labor, and how to develop an alternative understanding and practice of medicine that is oriented towards the needs of society rather than to contribute to capitalist profit.
The workshops, which addressed economics and ecology among other issues, discussed the details of the struggle for an alternative understanding of economics that can curb the excessive greed and profiteering of capitalism. How women approach the struggle for ecology and how to develop an ecological struggle that includes social and gender freedom were topics of discussion.
The preservation of language and culture, the role of memory in preserving them, women in the struggle against racism, nationalism and fascism, and the need to build an anti-fascist women's front were also among the topics discussed in the workshops.