3 August: Call for an International Day of Action against Feminicide

Let’s make August 3rd the International Day of Struggleagainst Feminicide through our joint organization!

On August 3rd 2019 is the fifth anniversary of the genocidal attack by the so-called Islamic State(IS) on Êzidi (Yazidi) Kurds in the Northern Iraqi city of Sinjar. Starting on August 3, 2014 the attacksand massacres caused a humanitarian catastrophe but importantly had the genocidal objective oferadicating the whole Êzidi community. Women were systematically targeted within this genocide andtherefore it also constitutes a feminicide.

On August 3, 2014 the world became witness to a genocidal attack by IS, having the ultimate goal ofeliminating one of the oldest religious communities in the world, the Êzidis. Rendered helpless anddefenceless when the peshmerga troops of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) withdrew from theirpositions in Sinjar without prior warning, the Êzidi community suffered systematic massacre, rape,torture, displacement, enslavement of girls and women and forced recruitment of boys as child soldiers.

Unofficial reports show that over 5 thousand women and children were kidnapped and sold on slavemarkets in the course of the assault. The women and girls were not only sold in Northern Iraq and Syriabut also in countries like Saudi Arabia, where they continue to be held and exploited as sex slaves.

The United Nations has offıcially called the IS-attack on the Êzidi a genocide. For the Êzidi religiouscommunity this genocide is only one of 74 genocides throughout their history. With this genocide in the21st century, they have to face the bitter reality that their existence, their belief and their freedom canonly be secured through self-determination, self-organization and self-protection. Women in particularhold the vital role in this process of self-organization in response to genocide and feminicide. They havethrown off their victimhood and will now determine and take control of their fate organized as the FreeYazidi Women’s Movement in Sinjar and in Europe.

The Êzidi religious community faces a massive challenge in maintaining this level of organisation ascountless Êzidi women, girls and boys remain captives of IS. In this context the feminicide against theYazidi women also continues.

Feminicide affects us all. The systematic killing of women because of their gender constitutes a globalphenomenon and includes physical, mental, economic and structural violence against women. Gender-specifıc violence threatens the lives of billions of women across the world while the perpetrators remainunchallenged and unpunished, just as is the case with the ISIS feminicide. The reason for that is thatunlike genocide, feminicide isn’t treated as a distinct category in national and international law. Yet,genocide often happens by way of feminicide, just like it did in the case of Sinjar.

That’s why we call on the women of the world to declare August 3rd as the International Day of Actionagainst Feminicide and to raise awareness at the international level of the kidnapped, enslaved andmurdered women of Sinjar. The Free Ezidi Women’s Movement will initiate various protests on this dayand will raise their voice for the freedom of the Êzidi Women.