HDP Women’s Assemblies is the organized power of women who are active within Peoples’ Democratic Party. It is women’s autonomous and unique organization that cuts all other fields. Women’s Assemblies grounds itself on all experiences of struggle accumulated by women to this day and upholds the Women’s Revolution in Rojava and all its achievements.
HDP works in line with the perspective of building a democratic nation where differences coexist upon free will on the basis of equality and having the right to decide over their own lives and futures, in other words on the basis of the principles of self rule, direct democracy and pluralism, with recognition of their mutual identities and collective beings. HDP carries out the political work of the aspiration to reorganize life and society around a democratic, ecological gender freedom paradigm.
The oldest and most deeply rooted mechanism that produces inequalities and domination in life and society is male-dominated system and the gender inequality it generates. The field of politics where decisions are taken concerning the life of society is one of the fundamental areas where male-dominated system reproduces itself and power, hierarchy and mentality. Hence, HDP Women’s Assembly aims to transform and democratize politics which has been built as a power-oriented and monopolistic male zone, to promote women’s participation in politics and to socialize politics. The Assemblies develop mechanisms and tools for women’s direct engagement in politics that will enable them to have the say and decision making power over their own lives, that will enable their own will power to make itself manifest. Our Assemblies which are autonomous and unique women’s spaces based on principles of horizontality and direct democracy have risen on this basis. HDP women’s body organizes in the form of assemblies in neighborhoods, counties, cities and head office. Our Assemblies are our participatory, horizontal and direct democracy practicing units that we build everywhere we work and exist from the streets and neighborhoods to the head office to achieve women’s active, effective and organized participation in life and struggle.
Principles of equal representation, equal authority and responsibility, co-chairmanship and co-spokesmanship are in force at all levels in HDP. Co-Chairmanship is our intervention in male dominated politics and life to transform both the woman and the man. The goal is not to have a share in power and domination but change the task of governing from being an area of power into a productive area of collectivity, sharing and collective wisdom. Autonomous and unique Women’s assemblies, co-chairmanship and equal representation are fundamental instruments of transforming and democratizing male politics.
As HDP Women’s Assemblies we try to reach women from all social sectors in order to ensure their active participation in politics so that women can have a direct say in and deciding power over politics, thus over their own lives and we struggle to remove the obstacles before women’s participation in politics.
The field of politics which as it is, is characterized by ruthless struggles for power, skirmishes to take hold of and hold on to power is an area of domination which is essentially anti-democratic, monopolistic and detached from society, the control of which male dominated system never consents to relinquish. This area of male domination which excludes woman has very powerful mechanisms of assimilation, of producing its mirror image to defend its own elitist, anti-democratic, dominating, monopolizing qualities, in other words to defend its power structure. To democratize and to transform this millennial space of power that has been carrying out the business of governing societies, which is jealously guarded by the system and by the men as representatives of the system, women have to participate in political work with their unique identity and own will power. HDP Women’s Assemblies create the tools for this through its organizations in streets, neighborhoods, counties, cities and at the center. Women’s Assemblies ground themselves on participation based on equal representation in all fields and committees. Assemblies ensure women’s equal, active and effective participation in decision-making processes at all levels.
HDP Women’s Assemblies develop gender awareness and facilitate the manifestation of Women’s will and alternative politics, confronts patriarchal politics with an agenda of its own and gives direction to politics.
Our Assemblies wage struggle against sexism and all manifestations of male dominated system and mentality in the field of democratic politics.
Assemblies actively struggle against gender discrimination and sexist division of labor and develop policies to enable women’s participation in all fields of life as equal and free individuals; they encourage women to actively participate in all fields of life. Until parity in society and until social change and transformation are achieved HDP Women’s Assemblies uphold positive discrimination for women in all areas of life and implement this in the field of politics.
HDP Women’s Assemblies efforts to organize and struggle to build a new equal and democratic life that upholds women’s freedom develop around a general agenda and basic principles as follows:
Develop policies against all types violence against women and wage active struggle.
Accept self defense as a fundamental human right and work to support women in organizing their self defense.
Act with full awareness of women’s role of leadership in socialization of peace, struggle against male dominated isolationist, nationalist, racist, sexist and militarist policies.
Struggle against policies of genocide and forced migration, work to build the broadest possible unity of women against fascism and dictatorship.
Work to develop in all regions the perspective of self rule that amounts to women and all peoples having the decision making power over their lives and living spaces; to work to organize the Kurdish people’s will on self rule among women.
Struggle against the exploitation against women’s labor at home and at work by male dominated capitalist system, develop effective policies in this field.
Struggle against the confiscation of basic social rights such as right to education and health through discriminatory policies based on inequality. Struggle for education and life in mother’s tongue.
When doing all of this HDP Women’s Assemblies work to broaden women’s solidarity on the country and world scales.
In HDP all decisions concerning women are taken by the women’s body and assemblies. The decisions taken by HDP Women’s Assemblies are directly binding for all party decision-making bodies and committees at the corresponding level. Women determine the women candidates who will run in party congresses and in general elections. Women take place in both the mixed and uniquely women’s coordinations for election. We have women’s campaign offices and a women’s campaign strategy center that work to increase the visibility of our women candidates and women policies. In disciplinary matters concerning women, the women members of the Discipline Committee are authorized.
We also have a Women’s Group made up of our 22 women MPs in the Parliament with its own spokespersons. This group works in close cooperation with all women’s organizations in the country and puts the words and demands of different sectors of women on the agenda of the Parliament.
In the face of the attacks, massacres and destruction inflicted on Kurdistan, women’s movement wherein HDP Women’s Assemblies also takes its place has been the first sector of society that took action and rushed out to support the rebuilding of life all over again; women have led the way. This work has been going on non-stop.
All women in HDP are natural members of Women’s assemblies. However the driving force are Women’s unique assemblies made up of women whose sole priority is work on and with women.
HDP Women’s Assemblies carries out its work in both the mixed and Women’s unique areas by means of commissions. Our Commissions at the central level are:
Organizational Work Commission : Responsible for developing women’s organization where our organizations exist and creating them where they don’t.
Educational and Training Work Commission : Works to create awareness related to issues of overcoming sexism, gender awareness and problems experienced by women, hold collective discussions on ways of coming up with solutions and organize these solutions. Carries out educational work targeting male party cadres and members to overcome sexist attitudes and raise awareness of principles of Women’s freedom.
Diplomacy Commission : Makes sure women and woman policies have an equal and effective place in mixed diplomatic activities and develops unique Women’s Diplomacy programs.
Media Commission : Works to achieve promotion of Women’s Assemblies, equal coverage and visibility of women’s activities, Women’s policies and women politicians in the media. Takes care of media, publication, propaganda and information tasks.
Law Commission : Works and establishes relations that will help promote Women’s perspective on issues related to the law and laws and violations. Follows work on the Constitution. Carries out information work on publicizing and following women’s court cases.
Financial Commission : Develops resources and projects related to the general revenues and expenditures of HDP Women’s Assemblies.
We are going through a period of hardships. Nationalism and religious fundamentalism acting upon policies centered around sexism are waging a ruthless attack on women and society at large both in Kurdistan and Turkey and in the Middle East. It is no coincidence that women have taken the lead in the struggle against IS aggression which embodies all the evils of male dominant system, the Women’s Revolution in Rojava is no coincidence. In our country as well the dominating dictatorship-seeking nationalist-fundamentalist-racist coalition has been weaving its policies to put the society in line on the basis of hostility against Kurds and sexism. This evil coalition first and foremost targets Women’s freedom policies, and attacks Women’s identity, being, body values and struggle.
As HDP Women’s Assemblies we believe the most important part of self defense is organization. While we on the one hand grow and strengthen our organization house by house in neighborhoods, villages and counties, on the other hand we give priority to creating lines of joint struggle and solidarities both on the country and world scales with other women’s groups and organizations, women politicians and parliamentarians.