Webinar on the Rojava Revolution at the World Social Forum in Nepal

This report and videos were published by the Civil Diplomacy Center of North and East Syria on 19 February, 2024

On the morning of 17 February, a session was held on “Rojava Revolution, an Alternative World Being Built in North and East Syria,” organized by the Civil Diplomacy Center in North and East Syria, in collaboration with the Kongra Star Women’s Movement and the Jineology Center. 50 people from all over the world participated online to learn about the methods of the people- and women-led revolution in North and East Syria.

The session moderator, Nourshan Hussein, spokesperson for the Civil Diplomacy Center, and the speakers, Perwin Youssef, a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and Zozan Sima, a member of the Jinology Academy, explained their views on the development of the revolution in North and East Syria.

The webinar recording on CDC YouTube channel:

At the beginning of the webinar, a short video was shown to introduce the Rojava Revolution and the model of Democratic Autonomous-Administration that was built on the values of the democratic nation. After that, Perwin Youssef spoke about the Social Contract and the model of Autonomous-Administration in North and East Syria, and Zozan Sima spoke about the democratic transformation of society through the women’s freedom struggle.

The introduction video:


In the first topic of the session, Perwin Youssef spoke about the start of the revolution on July 19 and said: “The Rojava Revolution has been going on for 12 years and we have gained many friends during these years. The Rojava Revolution, through its enormous sacrifices, has become hope and inspiration for the freedom of humanity and the Middle East.” It is admired by all people around the world today. The revolution that began in 2011 was called Peoples’ Spring. We as the Rojava people were an essential part of that revolution, certainly, our participation did not come from thin air, but was the result of 20-year struggle against authoritarians and injustice. We wanted to build a Democratic Autonomous-Administration with the participation of all components, including Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs, and others, and to embrace all religions, beliefs, and nationalities in the region. As is known, the Syrian fabric is so rich that it can be recognized by its multiple colors and beliefs, which is why our revolution has become a hope for all components, and an opportunity to restore its identity, origins, and culture once again after the Baathist regime obliterated them for decades.


Perwin Youssef stated about the ongoing war in Syria, saying: “The revolution in Syria in general began with the slogan, ‘The people want to overthrow the regime,’ but in the North and East region of Syria, the people’s goal from the beginning was to demand change, transformation, and recognition of all components. We also made these demands our goal. That’s why we started building communes, cooperatives, and councils. That step was the beginning of a historical stage for us, so we began organizing the people so that we could eliminate the hostility that the national state had created between the components in the region. For this purpose, we built trust in society between ethnicities and sects from the beginning because our ideology depends on the strength of society and its free will. We have always been subjected to major attacks by regional countries and the ruling regime. In response to these attacks, we have established our legitimate civil defense committees so that society can defend its revolution and Autonomous-Administration”.


Perwin Youssef emphasized that the attacks that occurred in North and East Syria in 2014 followed the declaration of Autonomous-Administration in its three cantons, which was based on the foundations of direct democracy, environmental awareness, and women’s freedom. In the same year, the first draft of the Social Contract for the Democratic Autonomous-Administration was drawn up. The forces that opposed the administration wanted to destroy it by attacking Kobani. In response, our people relied on their legitimate right to defense, which became a shield to protect the revolution, and the uprising that began in Kobani culminated in 2019 with victory in Baghouz, the last stronghold of ISIS terrorists. After the liberation of those regions from ISIS, the people built Autonomous Administrations in 4 other cantons, and thus 7 cantons were declared in the social contract in its new form in 2023.


A member of the Jineolojî Academy Zozan Sima, also spoke about the women’s revolution in North and East Syria, saying: Because women’s struggles have become a reality in the world, we have many experiences, such as the Kurdistan Women’s Freedom Movement. We have a long struggle in this regard, and therefore we have gathered our experiences and struggles throughout the ages to obtain women’s freedom. Their struggle has two dimensions, one local and the other global. Women’s enslavement is ancient and historical. Therefore, ways and means of combating this must be creative and strong. In this regard, the capitalist system does not want to liberate women, so we are fighting a two-sided war against capitalism and neoliberalism. In response, the Kurdistan Women’s Freedom Movement built a new system for women and invented new methods to struggle with the ideas and opinions of Leader Ocalan. We have made women the center of the revolution in Kurdistan and the Middle East. Revolutions will not win unless they accept women’s freedom. These experiments and projects are already taking place in North and East Syria, where we see women leading the revolution and organizing themselves in all fields.


Zozan Sima referred to the achievements made by women in North and East Syria, and said: “Globally, women have organized themselves for their civil and human rights and participated in the uprisings as an oppressed class.” Women in the Kurdistan Freedom Movement fought for their national rights, and after the 1990s, women began to fight for their freedom, identity, and existence and were organized in all regions of life in the North and East regions of Syria, where women participated in various fields of communications, media, economics, politics, art, culture, and others. It has independent organizations. Because the Rojava revolution became an opportunity for women’s freedom. There is no doubt that these achievements were achieved with difficulty because we struggled against anti-democratic mechanisms. Now, women work in all institutions, even at the leadership level, as they represent women’s councils and movements. Even in the legal field, some courts and laws that specialize in women.


In conclusion, Zozan Sima noted the work carried out by the Jinenolojî Academy as an academy specializing in women’s science, saying: “Our work is also related to the women’s movement, and we study social issues, problems and conflicts, and the research we conduct becomes the basis of social work for women’s movements and organizations, and for us the elimination of violence against women in the revolution, building the democratic family, and achieving women’s freedom are the standards for which we work and struggle to change the mentality. We take upon ourselves this duty to continuously educate society in all its stages, from primary schools to the university level, courses are offered in gender science, as well as our department is studied at the university. On the other hand, we have relationships with international universities where we carry out joint projects and activities together. The work we do may not be satisfactory, so we continue to constantly develop our research and teaching methods.

It is worth noting that before the end of the webinar, a discussion was opened on the topics of the webinar, which received everyone’s support and passion to learn more about the developments of the Rojava Revolution and women’s leadership roles.