Model organization for all women: Kongra Star [Parts 3 and 4]

This post is compiled from the second and third parts of an 11 part series of articles by Ronahî Nûda that were published by Jinha Women’s News Agency between 10-20 January, 2022.

Part 3: Rihan Loqo: Kongra Star organizes everywhere

Yekitiya Star changed its name to Kongra Star to be the umbrella organization for all people from all nations in NE Syria after holding its 6th congress on February 25, 2016. Kongra Star organizes itself through 12 committees and it has representation offices in Federal Kurdistan Region, Lebanon, and Europe. Kongra Star is ideologically based on Democratic Confederalism. Riham Loqo, the coordination member of the Kongra Star in Rojava, spoke to NuJINHA about their activities.

Thousands of women take part in works

Yekitiya Star changed its name to Kongra Star after holding its 6th congress in Rimelan, Qamishlo on February 25, 2016. In 2016, Kongra Star had 10 committees. “We have formed communes in villages and neighborhoods to reach all women and families. As Kongra Star, we organize ourselves through communes. We also formed our special assemblies. We have offices across Rojava Kurdistan.  Sovereigns didn’t allow women to take part in the social sphere. Women were told their place was their homes. As Kongra Star, we thought about how we could revive women’s history in the Revolution in Rojava. We wanted to leave our mark in the revolution. And we began to take part in every sphere of life. We can say that women have great power in defense units. Thousands of women are members of asayish, self-defense forces, and YPJ. Women of NE Syria become role models with their works.

Training programs change the mindset

Stating that they aim to reach more women through the Education Committee, Rihan Loqo said, “We wanted to fix our society through education. We wanted to reintroduce the science and works of women through education. We wanted to tell the truth about women through education. We told how the free co-life, the democratic family model should be. In addition, the science of women is revived by Jineology. We want to increase the level of women’s science through education. Leader Apo used to say ‘what is asked from you is education’. For this reason, we wanted to remove the patriarchal mentality that has been imposed on society through education for millennia.  We can build the Democratic Nation among the peoples through the Education Committee. Education Committee spreads the ideology of the Democratic Nation among the peoples. The committee has already reached to many women through the academy, communes, and assemblies.”

They empower women’s economy

Indicating that the Economy Committee aims to empower women’s economy, Rihan Loqo continued to talk as follows: “One of the issues that Kongra Star focusing on is women’s economy. People thought women couldn’t take part in the economy. We formed the Economy Committee to empower women’s economy. When we talk about matriarchal society, agriculture draws our attention. Women used to live in nature with air, rain, and earth. Women are a part of nature. We develop the community economy through cooperatives. Our aim is to spread the sharing culture not to make money. We build an equal society by empowering women’s economy. There is no lower or upper class in our system. Since the beginning of the revolution, cooperatives have carried out projects for women. The most important thing is that women develop their own projects and they benefit from them.”

“We introduced the revolution to the world”

Underlining that the Diplomacy Committee has protected the achievements of women gained by the women’s revolution, Rihan Loqo said, “It introduces resistance and struggle based on equality. We show the world the women’s struggle against violence and domination. The revolution in NE Syria is the revolution of sacrifices and heroism. The Diplomacy Committee has introduced the 10-year-old revolution all around the world. We want to make the revolution permanent through the Diplomacy Committee.”

Natural healing methods

Stating that the Health Committee has developed and organized women in health services, Rihan Loqo said, “We have produced medicines using herbs. In the past, women used to collect herbs to make medicines. After the establishment of the states, chemical drugs began to be used. We want all medicines used by women to be natural to protect them. The committee has held seminars and workshops to give information to women about their health. Women learn how they can protect themselves and their families. Women should protect themselves from all diseases.”

They make nature green

Noting that the Ecology Committee focuses on everything including water, people, nature, soil, and plants, Rihan Loqo said, “The aim of this committee is to build an ecological society. Sovereigns attack nature and don’t allow trees to be planted in NE Syria. The reason we formed the Ecology Committee is to introduce ecology to society. We make nature green. We want to build our country with the spirit of ecology.”

Women organize in press

Pointing out that the Press Committee is the voice of women in NE Syria, Riham Loqo said, “Leader Apo says that the history of women should be written by women. We have shown the truth of women to everyone through the press. Women have shown the women’s resistance to everyone by themselves. After the revolution, radio stations, magazines, channels, and news agencies were founded.”

People’s culture has been revived

Expressing that the Culture and Art Committee has revived the culture of history, language, clothing, truth, lorin, and dengbêj, Riham Loqo added, “The Culture and Art Committee has enlightened society. There were many tales and stories that were about to disappear. The committee has carried out studies on these tales and stories. Many of these tales and stories have been documented by the committee.”

It finds solutions to problems

Speaking about the Law and Justice Committee, Riham Loqo said, “NE Syria has gone through a historical and sensitive period. Women have been oppressed due to war and special war policies. In 2013, women established principles. Polygamy, child marriage, and bride exchange were banned. We have principles against all forms of violence. The committee has held seminars and meetings to find solutions to problems in society. We protect women by laws and principles.”

Social change has been created

Stating that the Women’s House deals with all the problems in society, Riham Loqo said, “The Women’s House resolves issues of equality and peace in society. It deals with not only women’s issues but also all problems in society. When there is a problem between the two genders, the members of the Women’s House listen to two parts to find a solution. We want to build democratic families so we have organized seminars and workshops to raise awareness of the public. We think we have created a social change because families don’t force their children into marriage now.”

Stating that the 21st century will be the year of women, Riham Loqo said that Kongra Star is the house of women’s science and that women who want can take part in Kongra Star.

“We have organized everywhere”

Reporting that Kongra Star has existed in Shehba, Euphrates, and Cizre regions, Riham Loqo said, “We have dozens of assemblies and offices in these regions. We have also organized in Aleppo and Damascus. We have representation offices in Federal Kurdistan Region, Lebanon, and Europe. Women show great participation in all activates based on the Democratic Nation system.”

Part 4: “The way to reach the truth is education”

“The way to reach the truth is education” Koçer Hisen, the spokesperson of the Education Committee of Rojava Kongra Star, says that the way to build an equal and free life in society is through education.

Koçer Hisen, the spokesperson of the Education Committee of Rojava Kongra Star, says that the way to build an equal and free life in society is through education.

Education plays a significant role in society. If a society wants to obtain its vital rights, it can do it through education. Education is as vital to people like bread and water. Kongra Star’s Education Committee also keeps the revolution alive in every part of life through education. It aims to pass down the achievements of the revolution from generation to generation through education.

After the revolution in Rojava, Kurdish schools, institutes, and universities were opened. These are among the achievements of the women’s revolution. We spoke to Koçer Hisen, spokesperson of the Education Committee of Rojava Kongra Star, about their works.

“Education creates change and transformation”

Stating Education Committee is responsible to solve the problems experienced in society through education, Koçer Hisen said, “One of our duties is to protect ourselves and our history. We should first ask ourselves “Who are we?” We can solve the problems we face as a society through education. We also solve problems we face about culture, which is being attracted by capitalist modernity every day. We can build a free and equal life through education. We need to research every word and uncover the truth that exists. Building a free and equal life without education is impossible. Education is essential in the organization of society. Education creates change and transformation. We struggle against patriarchal mindset through education.”

Education Committee formed in 2016

Reporting that the Education Committee of the Kongra Star was formed in 2016, Koçer Hisen said, “After the Revolution in Rojava, Kurdish schools, institutes, and universities were opened. Our aim is to inform the public about the wrongs and show them the truth. The Education Committee has members and offices across NE Syria. We have organized ourselves through communes and assemblies.”

They become stronger as they learn

Underlining that they provide education programs to institutions, organizations, and academies, Koçer Hisen said, “We provide education programs according to the needs of communes, institutions, and academies. We provide education programs to all people. We organize Jineology workshops to give information about the history of women. We place emphasis on the Democratic Nation paradigm in our programs. The Democratic Nation is the solution to all problems. Women become stronger as they learn more about their history.”

Education for everybody

Indicating that they have provided education programs to everybody in society, such as children, young people, and elders, Koçer Hisen continued to talk as follows: “Children are our future. We enable them to learn about their history, culture, and existence through education. Young people are the energy of society. They can transform their energy to the right place through education. Elders are our history. We teach them new things while learning from them. We provide education programs to people of all ages but our main duty is to educate women. Women learn their reality through education. We also provide education programs for men at the academies. We plan to start an education phase for men in the coming days.”

“We can overcome the problems through education”

Noting that there are academies across NE Syria and they continue to open academies according to the need of society, Koçer Hisen said, “We provide education programs on free co-life, the Democratic Nation, criticism, self-criticism, jineology, women’s history, expression, and rhetoric. The people attending our education programs are easily aware of their problems and share them with us. We can overcome the problems through education.”