On the 14th of January 2012 a one day conference was hosted at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre titled “No to stoning, No to execution”. This conference was organised by International Free Women Foundation, Roj Women, and Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq to discuss the specific forms of violence, but also to address women’s oppression under Islamic laws and backward traditions.
Speakers included Sabaht Tuncel, Kurdish member of the parliament in Turkey, Houzan Mahmoud; Organisaiton of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Ann Harison from Amnesty International, Bawan Khalifa Kurdish Women’s Rights activist from Iran, Meral Cecek; Kurdish women’s rights activist from Turkey and member in Stop Feminicde. Munevver Dogan welcomed the conference attendees and introduced the programme of the day. Miss Aylam Gylar lawyer and women’s rights activist chaired the first panel which consisted Ann Harrison, Houzan Mahmoud, Meral Cecek and Bawan Khalifa. The panel speakers addressed stoning and execution in Iran specifically, however other countries where Islamic Sharia law is dominant was also touched on. With emphasis on the religious extremism, that prevents women’s freedom and equality. Issues around female imprisonment, rape and torture of political prisoners were also discussed.
The second panel was chaired by Ayse Tekagac from Roj Women organisation. The panel consisted of Sabat Tuncel women’s rights activist also Kurdish member of Parliament from Turkey, Ann Christian from International Free Women Foundation, Shokhan Faraj; Kurdish women’s rights activist from Iraq. In this panel Sabahat Tuncel highlighted the plight of Kurdish women in Turkey their fight for recognition of their rights as Kurds and as women. Tuncel emphasised the importance of women’s roles in political mobilisation and that women’s freedom and equality is a battle that must be fought for at all time. Tuncel also said that national struggle should not override women’s rights, and that women in the Kurdish part of Turkey are at the heart of social and political mobilisations. Other speakers spoke about the importance of social campaigns to end slaughter of women, also other dimensions of women’s suppression in politics, economics and social Speers were discussed.
At the end of both panels there were question and answer time, were by the attendees took a very active role in the discussions.
The conference concluded with Houzan Mahmoud (form Organisation of Women’s Freedom and one of the conference organisers) read the final resolution of the conference to the attendees and asked for their views and inputs. The resolution was then amended and the vast majority of the attendees agreed to it.
Below is the outcome of the conference in a few lines:
1-To raise awareness about these crimes, also encourage and support struggles against these patriarchal systems in places like Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kurdistan and elsewhere that legitimizes women slaughter.
2. To aim to work together with other campaigns that bring awareness about (stoning) and execution, as we agree that it is vital to work in partnership to strengthen these campaigns and to continue the discussions further in order to initiate a universal struggle.
3- Continue efforts for Femicide to be recognized as crime against humanity like genocide in the international Law. Form an alternative women judicial system against Femicide.
4- To denounce these crimes and to work and mobilise our societies to take stands against these medieval practises. In addition it is vital to make these crimes known internationally and to form pressure on governments sanctioning them.
5- To raise awareness of men and involve them in the struggle for women’s equality and freedom
6- To reform laws and forming legislations against all forms of violence and struggle to establish constitutions that recognises full equality between men and women.
7- To highlight Kurdish women’s struggles and oppose all forms of violence against them.
International Free Women Foundation, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and Roj Women