Women’s gains in North and East Syria in 2021 testify to their successes

Zozan Women’s Cheese and Dairy Factory

This is the first cheese and dairy factory in Derik. There are about 25 workers, most of whom are women. It is a women's economic project, but it is not clear if the project is run as a co-operative. An official of the Cooperative Societies Committee in Qamishli is quoted in the article.

Naya Detergent Factory

Naya Detergent Factory in Raqqa is run entirely by women, from production to packaging.

This report was published by Hawar News on 25 December, 2021. It has been edited here for readability and accuracy.

During the year 2021, women in north and east Syria made many achievements at various levels: Diplomatic, political, economic and organizational, and women’s organizations intensified the pace of their activities aimed at reaching the largest possible segment of women in the world to support them to achieve their rights and freedom.

In the midst of the successive events in the north and east of Syria, a major role for women has emerged in closely monitoring the situation, and finding a way out for women so that they do not fall under direct influence, as women in any conflict are exposed to egregious violations, and global statistics on violations of human rights indicate that women are the targets in the first place.

In order to reduce losses to a minimum, and direct women’s energies to protecting themselves and identifying themselves, their history, strength and capabilities, women in northern and eastern Syria worked on the local and regional arenas, to hold the Turkish occupation accountable for its crimes in the occupied areas, and to deliver the message of women in the Rojava revolution, which is called the Women’s Revolution, to the rest of the world’s women to join the convoy of revolution available.


  • In support of women’s economy aimed at developing women financially and morally, the Women’s Economy Committee in North and East Syria has implemented many projects, opening projects that support and develop its economy, such as factories and ovens [bakeries].
  • On January 1, extensive meetings were held in the context of achieving self-sufficiency for female migrants from Serêkaniyê by opening economic projects to support them. 5,800 dunums [decares] of agricultural land were allocated to women in the form of an association. For the cultivation of seasonal varieties of wheat and barley, the association included 78 displaced women.
  • On January 2, the Women’s Economy Committee allocated an area of ​​7 hectares for onion cultivation, 12 hectares for garlic cultivation, three hectares for pea cultivation, two hectares for faba bean cultivation and five hectares for potato cultivation, which are grown for the first time in the villages of Kar Kendal and Mulla Marza in the Derik district in Qamishlo canton.
  • On January 16, Potato was grown for the first time in Al-Hasakah canton, by the Women’s Economy Committee in Al-Hasakah.
  • On May 30, the Economy Authority in Al-Jazira Region inaugurated the Women’s Department, Zozan factory for cheese and dairy, in Derik district, Qamishlo canton, which is the first of its kind in the region, and the second in the north and east of Syria.
  •  On June 1, the Free Women’s Foundation in Syria opened an office in the city of Manbij to develop the role of women intellectually and economically.
  • On November 8, the Women’s Office in the People’s Municipality in Raqqa opened a laboratory for detergents, the first of its kind, at a cost of nearly $4,000, to be a rare project and a first-of-its-kind experience for women in the region.


  • On June 22, a delegation from Catalonia, consisting of “Ilulia Regovat and Ruben Wagensbeeg, members of the Catalan Parliament, Laura Preeze, a member of the Barcelona city council, Montes, a member of the political and social organization Omnivim, Kifer Meckel, a member of the Movement for International Justice and Dignity for Refugees, and John Kerlt” visited journalist and director of documentaries on social issues.” Kongra Star Center in Qamishlo canton.
  • On June 29, Rojava women in Germany announced the organization of the “Star Europe Conference” during the first conference held under the slogan “Women’s Revolution is a guarantee of a free life”.
  • On June 29, the first founding conference of the Yazidi Women’s Union was held in Rojava in Al-Shahba canton, in the presence of 300 Yazidi women from Al-Jazeera and Afrin regions, under the slogan “With the thought of a democratic nation, Yazidi women will win in Rojava.”
  • On September 21, the French city of Lyon honored the Kurdish political activist and former General Secretary of the Future Syria Party, the martyr Hevrin Khalaf, by naming a square in France after her.
  • On November 30, a delegation of women from north and east Syria visited the Basque Country, at an official invitation from the region, the municipality of Duranco and the non-governmental organization “Suargi”, with the aim of strengthening relations between the two peoples.
  • During the year 2021, the Yazidi House in Al-Jazeera region received 12 Yazidi women from the administration of Al-Hol camp, who were captured during the attacks of ISIS mercenaries on Shingal.


  • On January 6, the official broadcast of the Women’s News Agency “JINHA”, which aims to find a new form and pattern for women’s representation in the media, in the face of “women’s lack of representation” began.
  • On January 17, the Coordination of Kongra Star in Rojava launched the second phase of the campaign “No to Occupation and Extermination, Together We Protect Women and Life”, with the aim of shedding light on the violations practiced against women and families by the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries in the occupied areas.
  • On February 5, it was approved that the women’s coordination would become part of the General Council in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, in order to find a suitable ground for resolving the obstacles and difficulties facing women within the administration.
  • On March 6, Afghan, Iranian, Arab and Kurdish women held a joint conference via (online) application, and accordingly the committee announced the decisions that resulted from the conference.
  • On March 25, Kongra Star set up a sit-in tent in Ari Park in Qamishlo city, to demand the disclosure of the health status of the leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and to lift his isolation.
  • On April 11, the first conference of the Women’s Council was held in North and East Syria, under the slogan “The Women’s Revolution to Ensure a Free Democratic Society”, in which 21 members of the Women’s Council were appointed, seven of whom are members of political parties in North and East Syria.
  • On May 26, the second conference of the Women’s Council was held for the families of the martyrs in northern and eastern Syria, under the slogan “The struggle of the free woman is to protect the values ​​of the martyrs and ensure the Rojava revolution.”
  • On June 1, the establishment of the “Zenobia Women’s Gathering” was announced during the first founding conference held in the city of Raqqa and the election of an administration for the four regions “Tabqa, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Manbij“, which is the main pillar of the hopes and aspirations of Syrian women.
  • On June 18, the first conference of the Free Women’s Stand in Syria was held.

Culture and Art

  • On January 8, the new center for Jineolojî (women’s science) was opened in al-Shahba canton, after a 3-year hiatus due to the Turkish occupation’s attacks on Afrin.
  •  On 1 and 2 March, the Women’s Literature and Art Festival was organized, with the aim of encouraging them to express their culture and history.
  • On April 3, a center for geology studies and research was inaugurated in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh in the city of Aleppo.
  • On June 25, the Women’s Authority in the Jazira region inaugurated the “Child Protection House” in the Al-Msherfa neighborhood of Al-Hasakah city, with the aim of providing the necessary care for children.
  • On August 5, the Golden Crescent Movement in northern and eastern Syria inaugurated the Kazwan Center for Women’s Culture in the city of Al-Hasakah, with the aim of rehabilitating women from the technical side.
  • The Education Authority in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has included the Jineolojî subject in the new 2021-2022 curriculum again, after making amendments to it to suit the nature of the region.

Violations of the Turkish occupation against women in the occupied areas

  • From January 1 to November 30, 13 women and 13 children were killed, and 75 women, 5 minors and a baby girl were kidnapped, according to statistics from the Human Rights Organization Afrin – Syria.
  • On January 30, the second forum was held on the violations committed by the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries in the occupied canton of Afrin, under the auspices of the Organization for Research and Women’s Rights in Syria, a Human Rights Initiative organization, the Rojava Center for Strategic Studies, the Human Rights Organization Afrin – Syria and the Human Rights Organization in Jazira.

Programmes to combat violence against women

  • In May, Kongra Star and the Women’s Council of the Future Syria Party from North and East Syria joined the campaign led by the Kurdish Women Relations Organization to oppose the policies of extermination against women under the title “We weave a protection network for life, stop the political extermination of women, and to revive  the pioneers, we will not allow new massacres against women,” in which 74 women’s organizations around the world participated, in addition to 181 women’s activists.
  • July 30 and 31, the Second Women’s Conference in the Middle East and North Africa was held under the slogan “With women’s unity we will achieve the democratic revolution” in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Its sessions focused on the events in the Middle East and North Africa, including wars, conflicts and disputes in which women were victims of the first degree, in addition to the repercussions of these crises on women, including displacement, captivity, assassination, and high rates of violence.
  • On October 30, the Women’s Authority in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria announced, during its monthly meeting, the approval of a draft internal system for the Center for the Protection of Abused Women. The draft consists of 12 articles.
  • On November 19, the third conference of the Women’s Council for Social Justice was held in the region of Al-Jazira, and a number of decisions were taken to reduce violence against women.
  • On November 20, the women’s movements in northern and eastern Syria announced a program of activities for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and it continued until December 10.
  • On November 30, thousands of men in Al-Jazeera region took part in massive rallies calling for the elimination of violence against women.