Impact of the Turkish occupation war on women’s economy

Statement to the Public
Concerning the Impact of the Turkish Occupation and War on Women’s Economy

The occupation war of the Turkish state involves the abject looting and plunder of the people and women’s economy in Rojava / North and East Syria. The occupiers are using slogans that are based on ‘gaining spoils of war through jihad’. The land, factories, buildings, manufacturers, shops, houses and people’s entire properties have been looted and seized. Now, the Turkish army and ISIS are jointly displacing the local population from Serêkaniyê (Rasalain), Girêspî (Tilebiyat) and Til Temir and leaving them utterly dispossessed.

The grain elevators in Serêkaniye and Girêspî have been plundered. The land is left unsown. Due to the bombardment the economic infrastructure of the region has been destroyed. Cooperatives, workplaces of the Autonomous Administration, and the women’s economy have been vandalised. Hundreds of thousands of women and men have been made unemployed, destitute, and have been forced into refugee life and hunger. For example; farmers’ fields and livestock breeders are now in the hands of the occupiers; shepherds and workers are captured; women are being confronted with systematic sexual violence; the economic institutions are being destroyed; homes and belongings of the people are being ransacked and cheaply sold to war profiteers. One of the worst results of war and occupation is that there are always a bunch of war profiteers making huge amounts while the large majority of people are suffering. The production of goods is being destroyed; looted items are being sold at a high price, both in the region and abroad. This is destroying both the moral and the economy of the community, and is intensifying poverty.

For example; the women’s economy under the Autonomous Administration in this region of Rojava comprised about 3,000 hectares of farming land. About a hundred families earned their living by agriculture and livestock breeding on these soils. With the land’s annual benefits we have been able to establish and maintain women’s workshops and cooperatives. Now, three women’s cooperatives with 100 to 150 women members each were forced to abandon their work. All of these women have been forced to seek refuge from the attacks as shepherds were abducted, and women who worked with their families in the area were assaulted with sexual violence.

The most precarious situation is due to the fact that the occupied places are ruled by anti-women Sharia laws and women are being captured. Women cannot leave their homes any more, and as a matter of course women’s employment is banned. Feminicide, a systematic neglect of women’s rights to live, is implemented through rape, enslavement and killing of women as well as through economic annihilation. The exploitation and capturing of women’s bodies, enforcing polygamy and the birth of many children are inseparable parts of the Turkish and FSA occupation policy. This means a patriarchal economy and the culture of male domination and violence. On the one hand forcible demographic changes are carried out in our country, on the other hand demographic policies are enforced on women’s bodies, and women are perceived as ‘child birth machines’ for the caliphate. The capital of a male economy once again is implemented on women’s bodies.

All parts of Rojava have been effected by migration and endless ISIS attacks, this has stagnated the whole economy of Rojava. For example; it is now the sowing time and 80% of our economy in Rojava is based on agriculture. But the grain elevators of Serêkaniye and Girêsipî have been looted, in which the seeds of people’s agriculture were stored. Therefore and due to the displacement of the population, seeds could not been planted in both regions. As the sowing season has been thwarted by the the war and occupation, the coming year will be tarred with shortage, poverty and hunger. This is another human disaster waiting to happen.

The workplaces, factories, sectors of public services and trade that are dependent on production have stopped work. This means unemployment and poverty for tens of thousands of families. In particular the gardens, orchards and soils of Serêkaniye have been destroyed. The damage to nature and the environment is an ecological disaster. The most tragic thing is the people of this region organized hopefully, for the first time, their economy and lives with their own will. Until the Rojava revolution there was only the economy of the Baath regime, and everything even the bakeries were under the monopoly of the state. Now, Turkey’s invasion is like a conspiratorial attack on the hope that was created with the development of people’s communal economy. Furthermore the small scale private economy collapsed. This is leading to an economic crisis. Bankruptcy, increasing prices and capital flight have begun. Along with genocide under occupation, ethical values of our society are being targeted; this includes economic devastation in the occupied regions, as well as in the regions which until now not have been occupied. This situation nourishes the spread of crimes and inhumanity. For example human trafficking and the business of mafias that are smuggling people for a high price across the boarders is flourishing. This is threatening the lives of people and the economy of society.

To prevent a human, economic and ecological catastrophe in Rojava and in North and East Syria, the Turkish occupation war has to be stopped – immediately!
All occupation forces have to be withdrawn from Syrian territory – unconditionally!
The secure return of the displaced people on their lands has to be guaranteed!

Women’s Economy Committee of Kongra Star

30.10.2019

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