Women’s co-operatives in Rojava

The following article is based on my trip to Rojava in March 2016 where I interviewed Delal Afrin, Head of the Women’s Economic Committee of Kongira Star (a women’s umbrella organisation, previously known as Yekitiya Star) and Hediye Yusuf, Co-President of Cizire Canton (now co-president of the Democratic Federation in Rojava and North Syria established on 16 March 2016). We visited four co-operatives in the canton of Cizire. The newly established co-operative economy is buffeted by more external pressures than one is likely to find elsewhere: Rojava is in a war zone, fighting for its survival against Daesh (ISIS), and has only recently turned its attention to the economy. It is a fast changing situation as the frontline is constantly moving, the Turkish border and the Iraqi Kurdistan (KRG) border are mostly closed although intense political lobbying may allow certain goods to be imported. They do not have the resources to collate statistics and so much of the information feels hazy. For instance, I was unable to discover how much the co-operative sector contributed to the Rojava economy as a whole.

Read the full article at Co-operative Economy


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