Kurdish Women’s Stories

📍 Kurdistan

Kurdistan is a roughly defined geo-cultural territory in Western Asia wherein the Kurds form a prominent majority population. It comprises the following four regions: southeastern Türkiye (Northern Kurdistan), northern Iraq ( Southern Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan), and northern Syria (Western Kurdistan). Certain Kurdish nationalist organisations seek to create an independent nation state while others campaign for greater autonomy within the existing national boundaries. Iraqi Kurdistan first gained autonomous status in a 1970 agreement with the Iraqi government, and its status was reconfirmed as the autonomous Kurdistan region within the federal Iraqi republic in 2005. There is also a Kurdistan Province in Iran but it is not self ruled. Kurds fighting in the Syrian Civil War were able to take control of large sections of northern Syria and establish self governing regions in an Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava). [ source: Wikipedia]

This book is an anthology of 25 stories, told by Kurdish women themselves. The book spans five generations and starts with the oldest woman and ends with the youngest. There are voices from each of the four regions of Kurdistan. The book is a nuanced, poignant, first person account of the lives of Kurdish women, a nation without a state; fighting authoritarian governments, patriarchy, discrimination and gender based violence. But more importantly, it’s an inspiring and reverberating narration of the resilience, courage, determination of these fierce and independent Kurdish women. These valiant women wore their Kurdish patriotism and pride on their sleeve and fought for their region through art, poetry, education, whilst braving grief due to death and separation from their loved ones. None of the women, in these stories portray themselves as victims, despite the adverse circumstances; instead only speak about their outstanding valorous actions in an understated and pragmatic way. The stories edited and put together by Houzan Mahmoud, is a testament to the brave, crucial and exceptional women revolutionists and crusaders who are often forgotten by the media and the world at large.