Report from the First Women’s Economy Conference of North Syria

This is a translation of an Arabic article that first appeared on Hawar news on the 19th of June 2017.

The First Women’s Economy Conference of North Syria made it’s final statement, which included a number of important decisions.

The statement was announced in front of Kongreya Star’s headquarters in the Al-Gharby neighbourhood of Qamishlo [Qamişlo / Qamishli / Al-Qamishli], and it was attended by members of Kongreya Star and cooperative societies; many of them waving Kongreya Star flags.

The statement was read in Kurdish and Arabic by Nabilah Muhammed, a member of the Union of Cooperatives in the Jazira Canton [Kantona Cizîrê‎ / Cezîre], and Awaz Suleyman, a member of the Agricultural Committees.

The First Women’s Economy Conference of North Syria was held under the motto ”Women are the foundation of right economy”, and ”Economy is the effect of women in society”. It was attended by representatives of Kobanî [Kobanê / Ayn al-Arab], Manbij [Mabuk‎ / Minbic], Afrin [Afrîn / Efrîn‎] and Jazira, and also representatives of organisations that influence the economic sector. The conference lasted for two days, and attracted 220 guests on the first day, and 160 on the second.

The conference began with discussions about relationships between economy and politics, and about the necessity of building an economy during war, and also about the present conditions for living and the importance of reaching a self-sufficient economy in order to break the siege that is imposed on the region.

There was also a reading of the KCK’s letter to Kongreya Star, and a letter with the title ”Women of North Kurdistan”, and a video message from a group of women from Mexico, and another by women from Brazil.

There were also discussions about the importance of building a good foundation for cooperative societies and prioritising training. There were many discussions among the members about focusing on overcoming difficulties and problems in order to reach certain goals. Representatives of the people in the region, Arabs and Assyrians, had conversations in their own languages.

The decisions made in the conference were:

  • The formation of a coordinating committee for women’s economy in North Syria;
  • Organise local economic cadres;
  • Open a special new academy that focuses on economic training;
  • Open a centre for economic studies and economic development;
  • Organise business offices, archives and diplomatic relations in the economic centres;
  • Cooperate and coordinate with the Institution of The Proletariat.
  • Train specialists in the coops and train the members to guarantee a good understanding of how cooperative societies work;
  • Establish cooperative societies for the interest of the people in the communes so that every commune can have a cooperative society;
  • Train young women in the Youth Organisation in the fields of agriculture and economy;
  • Expand and setup agricultural, industrial, commercial and livestock coops;
  • Organise economic businesses in the countryside;
  • Grant agricultural machinery to the agricultural coops;
  • Provide institutions and places to become centres for the economic, agricultural, commercial and industrial sectors;
  • Develop women’s activities and handicrafts in society;
  • Prioritise small local initiatives and work to develop them;
  • [Translator’s note: last point unclear]