“War Is like a Blanket”

Feminist Convergences in Kurdish and Turkish Women’s Rights Activism for Peace
  • Citation: Al-Ali, Nadje, and Latif Tas. “‘War Is like a Blanket.’: Feminist Convergences in Kurdish and Turkish Women’s Rights Activism for Peace” Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 13, no. 3 (2017): 354–75.
    • Topics:
    • Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • peace
    • Turkish-Kurdish conflict
    • Kurdish political movement
    • women’s rights movement
    • Turkey

Despite the recent outbreak of violence and conflict, peace continues to be high on the agenda of the Kurdish political movement and many progressive Turkish intellectuals and activists. Based on qualitative research we conducted in Diyarbakır, Istanbul, London, and Berlin in 2015–16, we show that Kurdish activists have struggled to make the eradication of gender-based inequalities and violence central to the wider Kurdish peace movement, while Turkish women’s rights activists have increasingly recognized that the war against the Kurds, “like a blanket,” often papers over gender injustices. Both Kurdish and Turkish activists stress the necessity of understanding that a just and sustainable peace must include gender equality and that gender justice cannot be achieved in times of war. Thus feminist convergences in Kurdish and Turkish activism present peace and women’s rights as inseparable and generate the potential to challenge nationalist state power and the militarization of society.

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