KJK pays Tribute on The Death of Prof. Maria Miles

Prof. Maria Mies: A life for justice and women’s freedom

It is with profound sadness that we learned of the death of Marxist-feminist thinker and
activist Prof. Maria Mies. A renowned professor of sociology, she was a convinced feminist
of Marxist theory and practice who was able to muster flexibility in the development of the
1990s, clearly distance herself from any form of dogma, and dedicate herself to the particular
issues and challenges of the century. The Kurdish women’s movement greatly valued the
works of Prof. Mies, which were an important contribution to the promotion of the women’s
perspective in a scientific-historical context. She was a pioneer of eco-feminism, a key
component of the ideology of the Kurdish women’s movement, which is central to the
inspiring autonomous model that has been put into practice today in North and East
Syria/Rojava. Her criticism of neo-liberalism and globalised capitalism, also from an ecofeminist perspective, and her proposed alternatives to it, have been a source of strength for
millions of women in struggle and played a strong role in building civil society organisations.
The Kurdish women’s movement initiated a dialogue with Prof. Mies in 2000 to make her
aware of the Kurdish women’s revolution. She immediately took interest, seeking to
understand the Kurdish women’s movement, and gained great appreciation for it. She later
saw the Kurdish women’s revolution in Rojava as a new source of hope at a time when she
had developed an increasingly critical attitude towards women’s organisations in Germany
and Europe.
The Kurdish People’s Leader, Abdullah Öcalan, used the works of Maria Mies when
developing his theories of women’s history and of the colonisation of women. She knew about
this and knew his writings.
We can say with pride and happiness that our friend Prof. Mies was able to experience a 21st
century women’s revolution in Kurdistan while she was still in good health, and this
achievement was made possible through the work of exceptional women like her. Maria Mies
is a name that will always stand for insightful analysis, critique, and inspirational alternatives.
We remember her with great respect, and she will live on in our struggle for women’s
freedom and for the establishment of a more just and peaceful society.