14 July 2016
by Shingal Yazidi Women’s Council
3 August 2016 marks the 2nd anniversary of the Feminicide and Genocide by Islamic State (IS) against Yazidi people in Sinjar/Shengal. On 3 August 2014 IS attacked and captured Sinjar, which is the historical homeland of Yazidis, a Kurdish religious minority whose ancient religion is linked to Zoroastrianism. ISIL destroyed Yazidi shrines, executed resisters and demanded the residents to swear allegiance or be killed.
During the IS-massacre in Sinjar up to 5.000 Yazidis were executed. Almost 200.000 people managed to flee. 50.000 Yazidis fled into the Sinjar Montains, where they were trapped without food, water or medical care, facing starvation and dehydration.
At the same time approximately 5.000 Yazidi women and children were captured. They were appropriated as spoils of war and sold as sex slaves to Muslim men or given to ISIL commanders. Those who refuse to convert were tortured, raped and eventually murdered. Babies born in the prison where the women are held were taken from their mothers to an unknown fate. Women allegedly raped by ISIL fighters have committed suicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar. While a high number of women managed to flee or could be liberated, approximately some 3.000 women are still in ISIL captivity.
While the campaign of ISIS against Yazidi people often is described as a massacre, it shows all characteristics of genocide. But additionally IS is carrying out acts of feminicide. Kidnapping of Yazidi women as spoils of war, enslavement, systematically rape, forced conversion are not only parts of a systematically war against women, but feminicide.
Yazidi people, especially women in Sinjar answered the acts of genocide and feminicide by IS through self-organisation and self-defence. Today Mount Sinjar marks the centre of Yazidi self-organisation through self-defence units, people’s and women’s councils as expression of their collective will.
But the IS-threat on the Yazidi people in Sinjar is continuing. And still countless women remain in the hands of IS. For their liberation national and international action and solidarity is needed.
Also the UN Special Commission declared in its report released on 16 June 2016 that the incidents that happened in Sinjar amount to genocide and a crime against humanity. We will continue our struggle until the responsible are tried and pay for their crimes.
Therefore we call for an International Action Day against Feminicide and Genocide on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the IS-campaign against the Yazidi people in Sinjar on 3rd August 2016 on public spaces and especially in front of UN representations. Because we call on the UN to recognise the Feminicide carried out by IS in Sinjar. Member of the Kurdish women’s movement will organise minutes of silence and protest actions in the different parts of Kurdistan and Europe on that day. We call you to join us and raise the voice of the freedom seeking Yazidi women with your actions that may differ.
Please contact us for further information, common planning and sharing of your actions via the supporting Kurdish Women’s organisations you are in contact with.
Kurdish Women’s Relation Organisation (REPAK)
Kurdistan Free Women’s Organisation (RJAK)
Rassan Organization for Defending Woman Rights
Social Development Organisation
Sazan Women and Human Rights Reunion Organisation
Saya Organisation Strives Against Violence and Gender Discrimination
Work Institute for the Development of Democracy (WID)
Kurdistan Women’s Alliance
Women’s Union of Kurdistan – Zhinan
Zhindrusty Organisation to Obtain Better Health Services for Women
Free Women’s Foundation
Sara Association to End Violence Against Women
Democratic Union Party (PYD) Women’s Branch
Syria Kurdish Left Party Women’s Branch
Syria Kurdish Democratic Left Party Women’s Branch
Kurdistan Communist Party Women’s Branch
Kurdistan Liberal Union Women’s Branch
Syria Kurdistan Democratic Party Women’s Branch
Kurdistan Green Party Women’s Branch
Free National Party Women’s Branch
Struggle Platform for Women Forcefully Seized
Free Women’s Congress (KJA)
Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Women’s Council
Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Women’s Council
Selis Women’s Association
Ceren Women’s Association
Rainbow Women’s Association
Doğu Kürdistan Özgür Kadınlar Topluluğu (KJAR)
Umbrella Organisation of Yazidi Women’s Councils in Germany
Yazidi Youth Union
Central Council of Yazidi Associations
Ceni Kurdish Women’s Peace Office
Hevi Education and Integration Association
Yazidi Kevnas Association
Kahniya Sîpî Association
Union of Students from Kurdistan (YXK)
Union of Female Students from Kurdistan (JXK)
Kurdish Peace House Bielefeld
Democratic Allawi Federation (FEDA)
Democratic Union Bielefeld
Socialist Women’s Union (SKB)
Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJKE)
People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) Women’s Council
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Women’s Council
Socialist Women’s Councils (SKM)
Women’s Freedom Council (KÖM)
Foundation for Solidarity with Women (KADAV)
Association for Migrant Rights (MHD)
Feminist Atelier (FEMA)
Free Women’s Academy (ÖKA)