Time for a Women’s Revolution in Kurdistan?

5/14/2019 11:00:32 AM

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Shnyar Anwar
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It is true that Kurdistan has more women in Parliament than world’s average; 30 percent of Kurdistan Parliament seats are women. However, that is only a symbolic one because it is a law that has dedicated 30 percent for women, not that women challenged men by getting more votes. It is a quota system. But why Kurdish patriarchy politicians decided to dedicate 30 percent to women? It is simple, it is a way to show the world that they embrace women participation in politics. In fact Kurdistan Parliament is not a place to make strategic decisions, the institution is used by ruling elites to notarize their proposals.

Look at the cabinet! How many women were elected as ministers? Only one in the current cabinet. Why? Because, unlike parliamentarians, ministers possess powerful financial decisions. Therefore, we have seen less women as cabinet members in the past and we don’t expect to have more women in future cabinets until women themselves can take the lead and bring political parties to share decisions with them.

During the last six months, no women participated in negotiations between winning political parties. This is not coincidence, it is a proof that women have failed to deconstruct patriarchy politics.

The real question is why women failed and how to achieve success?

Over the last seven decades, men ruled our Region and they did what they did. We as women can’t expect more than that from them. They failed us and they failed the society. So what is the solution?

It is a difficult question but I think it difficult because we have been thinking in the box. Let’s think outside of the box. How about a new political party founded by women? Why not?

Women comprise over 50 percent of voters in Iraq. We are the most marginalized people in the country. According to new statistics, we comprise majority of students and a growing public sector employees. More women are going to school than before, more women graduated from colleges than ever before but our share in leadership positions and cabinet is nor growing.

We have over 40 political parties in Kurdistan and none (except Tavgari Azadi’s co-chair) of them have women as head of the party. May be it is time to think about it. Kurdish women surprised the world then female fighters defeated ISIS in Rojava and there women are taking the lead in other positions.

We need also a women-led revolution that can rule the Kurdistan Region. It is time.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NRT.