Women, identity and armed conflicts

 The use of women and girls as “human shields” is a global issue that is pursued in international capacities to prevent humanitarian disasters.

In the Middle East today, the two keywords “gender” and “ethnicity” have become the basis and focus of the actions of various performers in various conflicts. Meanwhile, the marginalization of women and girls in some communities and ethnicities has provided grounds for their recruitment in armed groups. In other words, women in society and family feel their dignity trampled and to compensate for this situation and even take revenge on the founders of these conditions, they go the wrong way and are attracted to armed groups. It is as if a woman in the Middle East is redefining her identity; she enters insecurity, which not only does not envision a clear horizon of freedom, but also drags the woman’s existence into the abyss of captivity and death. In the context of confiscation of “gender” and “ethnicity”, Iranian Kurdish women and girls are kidnapped or held hostage by armed groups and this sad story continues to the point where repeating it every day becomes a constant pain.

Iranian Kurdish women and girls are practically trapped in these groups by the slogan “woman, death, slavery”… they are deceived.  Under the pretext of working, studying and even living in Europe and to escape the closed society and backward views, they are attracted to armed groups… The armed groups in which these girls are killed, but there is no news about their bodies and burial places. How and when they were killed is not even clear. The places where they live in these armed groups are not safe houses with facilities, but forests, caves and tunnels. This is all the possibilities that armed groups have provided to Iranian Kurdish women and girls! The end of this path is death too; in the heart of the mountain. They are deceived; they think they are fighting in an important battle for the liberation of Kurdish women. Among the absurd but attractive slogans of these groups, they are captured by the sinister whims of male commanders. They are placed in the hands of superior women, do not have the right of motherhood and marriage, and “think” that they are fighting a global and apocalyptic war for the identity of Kurdish women. They think they can transform the traditional and political order in the Middle East and bring freedom with a simple weapon… This is an obvious deception.

The use of women and girls as “human shields” is a global issue that is pursued in international capacities to prevent humanitarian disasters. Searching for identity instead of heroism in society and family turns a woman into a terrorist who loses not only her identity but also her humanity. For this purpose, the first important resolution of the United Nations Security Council known as Resolution 1325 was approved on women, peace and security which calls for the adoption of special measures to protect women and girls from violence caused by the conflicts and specifies the gender-oriented responsibilities of the United Nations in various political and functional fields.

According to the theory of identity empowerment, “women are looking for constructive changes to improve their status; they may be on the wrong path    even in the limited conditions of their life and in the process of empowering their identity.”  For this purpose, international resolutions and documents emphasize the necessity of women’s participation in various social, economic, political and decision-making fields and the protection of women and girls to prevent them from entering into conflicts and disputes. Now the point is, how effective is the role of the family, society, officials, humanitarian groups and international organizations in preventing the occurrence of daily incidents of abduction of women and girls and recruitment into armed Kurdish groups? Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch will answer these questions in its next notes.

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