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Solidarity messages on UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

AS THE incidence of violence against women and girls rises inexorably, including femicide and rape, how will the United Nations win its goal of eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030, even with its Spotlight Initiative

The reality is that the corrupting political system of capitalism and imperialism devalues and threatens the lives of women by commodifying everything. It exploits us in our workplaces and oppresses us in our communities and fails to protect us on every level. 

It is not interested in changing anything unless forced to do so.

We rise to the challenge of fighting for our rights everywhere in the world. We educate, inform and empower ourselves to reclaim our lives. 

We stand together against discrimination, racism, sex-based violence and inequality. 

We demand change and justice for ourselves, for access to essential health and welfare services, so that we can live lives free of fear in a different society, a socialist society, which values and respects our contribution.

CAROL STAVRIS
Women’s organiser, Communist Party of Britain

Message of solidarity from the North London Branch of the Communist Party of Britain:

SOLIDARITY with all our sisters facing domestic abuse and femicide across the world. 

Violence against women is on the rise, as is femicide. It is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in the world today. 

The media reports daily incidents of women murdered by male family members mainly and others often following an incidence of violence including rape. 

Lockdowns have caused a rise of cases of domestic abuse. The North London Branch of the CPB calls on the trade union and labour movement to call for government funding for councils to set up women’s refuges to ensure women can escape from violence. 

We welcome the initiative of our sisters in Turkey to build a hashtag campaign on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

We send solidarity from all in the North London Branch, to all our sisters suffering domestic violence in the world and to our brave Turkish and Kurdish sisters who are suffering and fighting an extreme right-wing religious government to retain the Istanbul Convention as a symbol of women’s rights. 

London Women’s Advisory Committee solidarity message: 

THE Women’s Committee of the London Communist Party condemns misogyny, femicide and all forms of violence against women. 

The oppression and super-exploitation of women is endemic in capitalist society. 

We stand in solidarity with all women worldwide who bravely struggle against patriarchal tyranny. 

In particular we salute our Polish, Turkish and Kurdish sisters in their brave fight against femicide and anti-abortion laws. 

These women are currently facing brutal repression at the hands of their ultra-reactionary misogynistic governments. We stand with them in solidarity and sisterhood.

Solidarity from the Young Communist League (YCL):

THE YCL sends messages of solidarity to all our sisters across the world including our young sisters in Turkey and Kurdistan. 

We know that very young women face sexual abuse and have been raped and murdered just for being women. 

We also send solidarity to women in the UK, where the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns are worsening the effects of domestic violence and rape convictions have reached a record low.

The YCL believes that solidarity and campaigning to ensure perpetrators of these horrendous crimes are punished is urgent. 

Women should never be blamed for the actions of male offenders, as they often are in the media and in the criminal justice system. 

We aim to fight for a socialist society where women’s rights are protected so they don’t suffer from being the victims of patriarchy and misogyny. This is more urgent than ever.

Message from the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign:

THE Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign sends solidarity greetings and offers our continued support for women in Turkey and Kurdistan in their fight for basic rights and to stop femicide.

We are proud to have built links with the women’s movement in Turkey and raised the profile of the struggle being waged against femicide and in defence of the Istanbul Convention.

This summer the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign held a day of action in solidarity with our sisters in Turkey, handing in a 5,000-strong petition to Downing Street and a vigil at the Turkish embassy reading out the names of the women murdered this year.

The Turkish state is waging war on women, and the brutal rape of Kurdish teenager Ipek Er by a Turkish soldier this summer rightly shocked the country.

But Musa Orhan, the sergeant who held her captive for 20 days while repeatedly sexually assaulting her, was allowed to remain free, sparking mass protests across the country. 

It exposed how the state protects men in power creating an environment where they can act with impunity.

The Turkish state is determined to break women’s resistance with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believing they should only exist in the domestic sphere. 

This has led to attacks on women’s organisations across the country and the closure of women’s shelters and other sources of support.

It has also led to an attempt to destroy the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), with leading women, including Leyla Guven and former leader Figen Yuksekdag, detained and jailed.

Some 16,000 of its members have been detained since 2016; 6,000 are behind bars along with 200 elected officials and seven MPs. 

More than 50 of its elected mayors have been replaced by government-appointed trustees. 

Although Kurdish women have been particularly targeted, the attacks affect all women in Turkey and the HDP organised its Women Everywhere campaign in response, holding meetings in workplaces and communities across the country.

We demand the government cuts ties with the Turkish state, brings and end to arms sales and trade agreements until it releases all those held in Erdogan’s dungeons, and stops attacks on women.

Message of solidarity from Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan: 

THE attacks on women in Turkey are an attack on all of us and we stand in solidarity with those fighting for freedom and women’s rights.

Women in journalism are often targeted for reporting on femicide and the abuse of women and threatened with rape and sexual assault by the Turkish state.

Earlier this year Mesopotamian Women Journalists’ Platform spokeswoman Ayshe Guney was one of those detained as women’s organisations were targeted in state operations.

She is an editor for Jin News, an all-women’s news organisation established to ensure that women’s issues in Turkey received coverage and to challenge male-dominated state violence, the male-dominated media and its language.

We also remember former Atilim editor Hatice Duman, “Turkey’s forgotten journalist” who is believed to be the world’s longest-jailed reporter — Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan continues to demand her immediate release.

The Turkish state is trying to cover up the reporting of femicide and attacks on women by targeting women journalists. 

But women will not be silenced in speaking out against femicide, rape and the crimes of the Turkish state.

Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan stands in solidarity with those fighting against femicide, rape and sexual violence in Turkey.

We call on the British government to halt normal relations with the Turkish state until it stops attacks on women and takes real and meaningful steps to end femicide, including retaining support for and implementing the provisions detailed in the Istanbul Convention.

Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan was founded last year following a motion from the Morning Star NUJ Chapel and launched with the support of Jin News founder and internationally acclaimed award winning artists Zehra Dogan.

It has the affiliations of a number of trade unions including TSSA and has led campaigns for the freedom of women journalists including Seda Tashkin, Meltem Oktay, Kibriye Evren, Ayshe Guney and Hatice Duman.

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