Vîna Jin (Women’s Will) is considered one of the most important economic projects for women in Kobani, opened by Kobanî Women’s Committee to provide job opportunities for women who couldn’t go to school. It is not clear yet whether this project is organised as a co-operative, but it is co-operative in nature.
“Our first aim is to support all women, particularly illiterate women,” said Cemila Faris, the spokesperson of the Kobanî Women’s Committee. “There are many unemployed women. We try to support and help them as part of this project. We wanted to expand our project to other cities. However, we couldn’t due to the outbreak of the pandemic and ongoing war. Six women joined our project. We supported them to open a shop. They sell dried eggplant, zucchini, parsley, pepper, jam, and many more products there.” “We don’t carry out this project to make money. We carry out this project for women so that they can stand on their own legs.”
Vîna Jin was started by the Women’s Committee in the Autonomous Administration in Kobanî in 2017, then was completed by the Women’s Committee of Kobani in 2019. The project works with a capital of SYP 3 million. The project provides job opportunities for a number of women who do not have university degrees, or those who cannot read or write. It also helps women employees who work in the institutions and organizations to secure house supplies at the appropriate quality and price.
The women prepare dried vegetables, jams, tomato puree, pepper paste, grape leaves and mahashi (eggplants and zucchini filled with rice and meat). During tomato season, they make tomato puree, grape leaves, jams, makdous (eggplant filled with walnut and pepper paste dunked with olive oil), spices, pepper paste, wild mallow, and all dried vegetables. The Women’s Committee coordinates with one of the vegetable dealers in the city’s bazaar to obtain the best types of vegetables on a daily basis.
10 women directly benefit from the project (in a rotation system?) for 6 months. Most of them are elderly and poor women who are “in need” of work, where they earn about 35,000 to 45,000 SYP per month, about 60 to 75 USD. Women work seven hours per day at the factory, which is in the south of the city, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a break. The women workers report that they earn a good salary for six months, work as one family and share work equally.
Products are sold directly to customers in a special shop located at Al-Tilal Street in the center of the city at cost price, so both women working in the project and women working in other projects or as employees can also benefit. Jamila Fares is a supervisor of the project. Halima Darwish is employed at the shop in Al-Tilal Street by the Women’s Committee. “In the factory they prepare the supplies to be brought to the shop. I put them in bags and sell them to people according to the quantities they ask for,” says Halima.