JINWAR Free Women’s Village is an ecological women’s village in the heart of Rojava. The village is ecological because it is built by hand using traditional building methods out of kerpiç – straw and mud that is baked in frames in the sun to make bricks. The construction of the women’s village started on March 10th, 2017, right after the 8th March international women’s day celebrations, and opened its doors to the residents and workers on November 25th, 2018, the international day against violence against women.
Women and their children live in the village – some have escaped from abusive families, others have been widowed in the war, and others are there only because they wish to live a communal life with other women. The village has 30 homes, a school, a bakery, a natural health centre, an academy, and a small shop. It has a communal economy based on ecological agriculture and all projects are run collectively. Every woman who settles in the village can participate in the village council and help plan the village life. Jinwar women can collectively bake their bread in the bakery or cook and eat in the communal kitchen. Men visit and help with work in the village, but only women and children live there, and only women are allowed on the council.
In a time of deep despair, human and ecological crisis, the example of Democratic Autonomy in Rojava has created hope, and given new inspiration to people in Syria and the Middle East. In fact, a lot of people in other parts of the world have become a part of this process and are connecting it to the struggles in their own regions. Despite all the shortcomings and numerous obstacles during the last decade, we have learned that the democratic confederal organization of society can fulfill many spiritual and material needs of society. We have learned that democratic transformation is a continuing process, which requires constant societal and self-reflection. Our achievements are not assured forever, if we do not protect and advance them.
A female-only ecological village, which welcomes displaced women of all ethnicities and religions of northeast Syria, represents one of many feminist practices that have been born of the women's revolution.
In 2021, too, the war in Kurdistan has a great impact on the struggle for an ecological society there. So we need to take a closer look at how these two issues relate to each other and what an ecological stance can look like in times of war. To that end, Make Rojava Green Again conducted an interview with Kamuran Akın from Humboldt University in Berlin.
A novel Middle East Women Leaders Index, published by the Middle East Women Initiative, ranked Syria relatively low in women’s representation and leadership in the public sector. The data used (primarily from the World bank and UNDP) for the index covered the status of women in the Syrian government and areas it controls. However, the situation in Syria today is far more complex, almost ten years into the conflict.
Women from all parts of North and East Syria held events to celebrate International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, despite economic hardship, military occupation, and instability. These events represent only a few of the hundreds of gatherings and commemorations that have occurred.