In what is by any measure a wonderful mark of solidarity the women fighting ISIS in Rojava have taken the time to send solidarity greetings to next Wednesdays (March 8th, IWD) #strike4repeal in Ireland.
Accompanying an album of photos like this one they say "The revolution here in Rojava is a women’s revolution. From the front lines of the fight against ISIS, to running the cantons to trade unions that ensure all working women have their voices heard. International women’s day has special significance here, with events and demonstrations taking place all over the region. We stand with women worldwide in the struggle against patriarchy, and today we stand with the women of Ireland. We call on the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment and allow women rights over their own bodies! Today news reporters, trade unionists, HPC (civilian self-defence units) heard about the strike and stood in solidarity. Today women across Qamishlo support #strike4repeal Strike 4 Repeal"
For those unfamiliar with Rojava it was the name for the majority Kurdish areas of northern Syria which staged a revolution to fight for a society characterised by real democracy and gender liberation in 2012. They had to fight a life and death struggle against ISIS which almost overrun one of the areas, Kobane, completely but they were pushed back and have continued to be pushed back with the result that many other ethnic groups have joined this bid to create a new society in northern Syria.
Because of her age & clothes we would presume the woman pictured is not part of the YPG (the front line womens militia fighting ISIS) but rather the HPC which is a neighbourhood militia tasked with defending against ISIS suicide bombings and incursions. This can be a dangerous role, on Thursday, 25 June about 80 ISIS armed with suicide vehicles, machine guns and sniper rifles attacked Kobane probably after being allowed infiltrate across the Turkish border. They went from house to house murdering civilians, a total of about 230 were killed. Initially the only force available to oppose they was the HPC and around 35 of them died defending the people.
Qamishlo is the largest city in Rojava. As with Ireland abortion is illegal in Syria although the prison sentence for women having abortion is 'only' 3 years rather than the 14 year sentence recently introduced by the Irish state.
You can find out more about Rojava at www.wsm.ie/rojava
More about Strike for Repeal at www.wsm.ie/strike4repeal