In a joint declaration, issued in April 2024, the Kurdistan Women’s Freedom Party (Partiya Azadiya Jinên Kurdistan-PAJK) and the Kurdistan Women’s Communities (Komalên Jinên Kurdistan-KJK) Coordinations emphasized that the 3rd World War is also a war against women and societies. They stated that liberation, freedom, and justice cannot develop without self-defense.

The 21st century is characterized by the struggles around the world that seek to liberate the world, ecology, humanity, and womanhood. It began and continues to echo with women’s voices shouting for women’s liberation in the streets, mountains, cities, villages, schools and workplaces. The women’s liberation struggle and the women’s revolution are rising like the sun in the face of capitalist modernity and hegemonic male forces seeking to drown our age in darkness. They give hope and courage for the future of humanity.

Reber Apo defined the 21st century as the century of women’s revolution. Five thousand years of sovereign civilization and five hundred years of capitalist modernity have generated, through violence and domination, the hegemonic male mind and developed a terrible process of consumption and destruction. World War 3 is apparent in all aspects of life, from theories of crisis and crisis management, from nuclear war to special warfare. From ecology to women, from economy to law, from democracy to education, all areas of life have become areas where World War 3 has intensified and can be expressed as a general crisis. Societies, women and individuals who have not lost their truth cannot tolerate such a system even for a second. The 21st century is both a time of meaninglessness and crisis, as well as a time for women-led struggle to bring meaning to the chaos.

The hegemonic system aims to keep society, women, and individuals under control by creating crises and normalizing them. Crises also pave the way for revolutions and great social upheavals. For this reason, the owners of capitalist modernity develop concepts such as “multi-crisis” and “crisis management” and try to normalize crises, make them a part of life, and thus erode the potential for struggle and revolution. In this context, overtly or covertly, fascist forms of power are served under the name of “crisis management” and legitimized in the memory of society as a harmless discourse. In this way, they want to prevent social revolutions and rebellion. The discourse and strategy of “managing” rather than “solving” or “eliminating” the crisis creates an enormous field of action for the hegemonic powers. In this way, society is being transformed into a non-society, and in the absence of the will of society and women, dictatorial governments (crisis governments) are being established in secret or open forms. In this way, every aspect of life – society, ecology, economy, health, education, religion, law, etc. are affected as the options of revolution, rebellion, and struggle that may emerge are neutralized.

In this context, World War 3 gained more momentum and intensity in 2023. The wars in Kurdistan and Syria, the Russian-Ukrainian war, the Armenian-Azerbaijani war, and most recently the Israel-Hamas war made World War 3 more visible. In Afghanistan, the Taliban, the enemies of women and society, have been brought to power; military coups are taking place in Africa; far-right parties are coming to power in many countries, especially in the Abya Yala countries; undeclared wars are taking place in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan; and the consequences are very severe.

In all these wars, nationalism, religionism, sexism, and scientism join hands regionally and internationally to attack peoples and women. The most fundamental characteristic of the World War process is misogyny and hostility to society and nature. Hegemonic masculinity is developing this dirty war against women, peoples and nature by using all means of oppression and distortion with the tripod of nationstate-capital-industrialism. However, local wars are brought to the forefront and this systematic war against women, society and nature is rendered invisible. Humanity’s perception is distorted as a huge psychological war is being waged.

Now is the time for self-defense. In this war environment, it has become a fundamental responsibility for us, as women, to unite in common goals and objectives for the liberation of world humanity, women and nature, and to raise the struggle for self-defense. The chaos that hegemonic masculinity and the capitalist system have developed in all areas of life has made women the vanguard of the struggle for freedom against this chaos.

While hegemonic systems, nation-states and male domination are armed and attacking in every aspect, it is not possible for women to leave themselves without self-defense, to struggle without relying on self-defense. Self-defense is the basis of life, of living in liberation. For women to surrender their self-defense to states, men or institutions that do not represent their own will is tantamount to death. As a matter of fact, we women know best what kind of massacres women all over the world face when they cannot defend themselves.

Therefore, the 21st century is also a century of women’s self-defense. It is the century of defending free life by defending themselves, their society, life and nature together. It is time to defend ourselves against femicides, rapes, labor exploitation, lack of education, impoverishment, digital attacks, all kinds of humiliation and oppression, all kinds of body exploitation, especially prostitution, female genital mutilation, child marriages, domestic violence, sexism under the name of honor and morality. Unless we are able to defend ourselves, our bodies, rights, identity and existence, hegemonic masculinity, the capitalist system and its crisis-chaotic reality win.

The women’s revolution is also a system in which women practice self-defense by governing themselves. Those who cannot govern themselves cannot defend themselves. Those who cannot assert their identity as an organized and conscious will with self-defense remain permanently dependent and are forced to surrender their own life and existence to others. Self-defense is an indispensable, inalienable principle of existence.

The dominant systems try to draw women into their exploitative and male-dominated institutions. In recent years, nation-states and international institutions want to draw women’s struggle into the system, neutralize it and make it completely dependent on the system by involving women more in state armies, power struggles, governments, the most nationalist right-wing parties and imperialist institutions such as NATO. This is a basic strategy to masculinize and “empower” women and to use them at the highest level for the hegemonic system. This is not and can never be a self-defense and development for women. On the contrary, it is a policy of slaughtering women, society and nature with the hands of masculinized and empowered women. Women’s search for identity, existence and emancipation is distorted by flowing into the channel of power.

Women’s self-defense needs its own organization and must break away from nation-states, powers and male domination. Instead of assimilating into and serving the dominant system, our self-defense must develop an alternative mentality and institutionalization, the democratic confederal system. For this, women must have organized presence in all aspects of social life, from economy to education, from politics to art, from the press to work and family life.

We women are against exploitative wars, against the system of power-based violence and its unbalanced and life-destroying weapons. However, it is not acceptable to remain materially and ideologically unarmed in the face of a world system so armed against humanity, where the imbalance of power is totally against women and the oppressed. As women’s movements and as individuals, it is our most natural and vital right to use self-defense on the street, at work, at school, at home, in the village, in the city, in the mountains, everywhere and in every dimension: ideological, political, military, social, economic, educational, cultural, artistic, religious, physical, psychological. This must encompass and reach every single woman. Every woman must individually develop the strength to physically and psychologically resist all forms of male violence. Likewise, collectively, it is essential to develop both organizational and physical strength in a holistic manner to deter and overcome this systematic violence. It is especially important for young women, who are the main targets of male domination, to equip themselves with this consciousness.

Defending women’s comradeship is as essential as self-defense. Each woman who is subjected to the violence of wars, nation-states, and male individuals, regardless of her identity, religion or sect, is a reason for struggle and solidarity. Women’s solidarity and commonality must overcome all the borders drawn on women and societies, especially nationalism.

Fighting on the basis of the Democratic Nation against nationalism, democratic faith against religionism, jineoloji against scientism, women’s revolution against sexism, building the women’s democratic confederal system and realizing women’s resistance and construction action everywhere and at every moment is the way to illuminate the darkness of our age. From the Middle East to Africa, from Africa to Asia, from Asia to Europe, to Abya Yala, organizing towards the democratic women’s system in every piece of land, uniting organization, developing tactics for self-defense will further illuminate the paths we walk. Only in this way can we create a livable world for new generations, girls, young women and all humanity.

Reber Apo, who addressed the women’s struggle with great nuance and strategic depth by saying “Society cannot be liberated without the liberation of women”, dared to raise women’s consciousness in Kurdistan, to organize them, and to give them the experience of war and struggle against the enemy and male domination. He attached great importance to women gaining the consciousness of self-defense, for which he risked, in his own words, ‘a fight worthy of Prometheuses’. One of the main reasons why she was subjected to Imrali captivity and the torture of absolute isolation is his fight for women’s self-defense consciousness, ideology and organization by killing his own masculinity against global hegemonic masculinity. In Imrali prison, even under conditions of the greatest loneliness, he struggled for the women’s freedom struggle and women’s comradeship in a very meaningful way, and deepened women’s self-defense with the perspective of democratic nation and democratic confederalism.

As KJK and PAJK, we have a fifty-year history of women’s struggle in Kurdistan under the leadership of Martyr Sakine Cansız and a thirty-year experience of organized women’s guerrilla struggle. Thousands of our women comrades have waged war against the states and forces that colonized Kurdistan, especially the Turkish state, Many of them were martyred and wounded along the way. With thousands of comrades, this struggle continues with an extraordinary power of resistance. We are waging the women’s revolutionary struggle all over Kurdistan under the name of the women’s guerrilla army YJA/STAR, the women’s party PAJK, the young women’s organization KJC and the women’s democratic confederal system KJK. In the mountains and in the cities, a great struggle has been and is being waged against the Turkish fascist state and its male-dominated attacks, against gangs such as ISIS, and more. In the mountains, the YJA/STAR guerrilla is leading the struggle against the fascist Turkish state, its army and its one-man representative Erdoğan. In this colonialist genocidal and femicidal war, the enemy uses the most advanced technologies, from chemical weapons to tactical nuclear weapons and reconnaissance and war planes that are on the move 24 hours a day. However, our women’s guerrilla and women’s movement, which is organized with women’s ideology and women’s liberation consciousness, and which has organized itself into a confederal system, frustrates all these techniques and inhuman attacks and defends itself and our country professionally.

All around Kurdistan, women are developing their struggle by taking strength from the women’s movement, which realizes its rebellion and construction day by day. In Rojhilat Kurdistan, the women-centered rebellion that developed after Jîna Emînî’s killing by the Iranian regime took its strength and courage from Kurdish women’s self-defense organization. The slogan of Jin Jiyan Azadî, first chanted in the mountains of Kurdistan, is a philosophy that first came to life in the mountains and gradually spread to the cities and the world with serhildans (people’s uprisings). As genocidal and feminicidal attacks continue in Kurdistan, Kurdish women must deepen their struggle for self-defense against this fascist system. It is very important to defend both women’s identity and their country against all attacks stemming from special warfare and sexism, and to increase the struggle against all occupying and hegemonic attacks.

Women’s self-defense is about women writing their own history. As women from very different geographies and cultures, we united in the slogans of “Jin Jiyan Azadî” and became one voice. This voice is the voice of making the 21st century the century of women’s revolution, of beautifying and liberating the world, of true love.

We call on women all over the world to put women’s defense on their agenda, to discuss it everywhere, to organize and struggle according to their conditions. We must defend ourselves everywhere and at every moment, with our voice, our words, our politics, our organization, our art, our justice, our education, our economy, our weapons when necessary. For this, we must create consciousness and sensitivity, we must determine the fate of our existence ourselves. We must defend ourselves by governing ourselves, by developing and implementing our own decisions. In the 21st century, as women, we will learn from history and lead great resistance, but we will also develop our self-defense system that we will leave for the next generations. In this century, we must write our own history and determine our own destiny. On this basis, as PAJK and KJK, we call on all women whose hearts beat for freedom and who struggle to exist as women to develop, professionalize and unite the struggle for self-defense.