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YPJ is Breaking the Religious Shackles in Middle East
Sharif, Tajzan
Kovakantinen
124 Sivua
ISBN 978-952-339-942-6
€ 27,90
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YPJ is Breaking the Religious Shackles in Middle East

The focus of this research paper is to examine reasons behind the rise of female fighters in Rojava (The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria). The Kurdish female fighters are in the YPJ (Womens Protection Units) militia as an all-female unit and they cooperate with the YPG (The Peoples Protection Units) militia as a mixed gender force. In 2012, YPJ was created to fight against the Syrian regime and protect its land and people. During the few years, since its creation, YPJ militia has become famous for being a unique military unit that is fiercely fighting against ISIS. This gave the world a chance to know these extraordinary women who even ISIS fears.

Behind every narrative, there is an untold truth, and this is what the research in hand aims to reveal. There are several reasons behind the increase of the Kurdish female fighters. These reasons range from a common enemy to the desire to change the society in which these women live. The YPJ is a great example of a group with a feminist ideology whose dedication and purpose is to fight against the Islamic belief that women cannot participate in either politics or combat.

The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world that is without an official state. Throughout history, the Kurds have been oppressed by colonizing states today know as Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It was not enough that the Kurds were denied their rights as humans, but they were the wrong kind of people, which led to Arabization and Islamization. The author will not take a specific time frame but rather analyze the phenomenon from a point of view where Islam is the cultural colonizer. This research explains in detail how de-colonization is appearing in a semi-autonomous region called Rojava. The case example of the research is an all-female unit called YPJ. The YPJ unit itself is revolutionary, but the unit alone does not explain the reasons behind the rise of female warriors in combat. Behind the revolutionary phenomenon is a man called Abdullah Öcalan and his thoughts of a better world for all women in the world. The keyword for this revolution is Democratic Confederalism.

Tajzan Sharif

Tajzan Sharif was born in Bashur, Southern Kurdistan, but she grew up in Finland. She has always been interested in her roots even though she did not have the chance to grow up in her hometown, Kirkuk. Thus, she has dedicated her studies into researching Kurdish matters.

Currently, she is a MA graduate from Tallinn University. She did her MA in International Relations with a major of International Security and Conflict Studies.

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