Photo: Litteraturhuset

​A few years ago, the West cheered for the Kurdish all-female militia known as the YPJ who took up the fight against ISIS. 

Today, ISIS is on the rise again, and just last year thousands of Kurds were sent into exile when Turkey invaded the areas in which they had settled.

Who are the YPJ and what motivates their struggle? What is the situation for the Kurds in the border area, and what is it that makes the Kurdish and Turkish ideologies incompatible?

Pinar is a senior researcher at PRIO, where she researches relations between Turkey and the Kurds. In this online lecture, Pinar introduces us to the conflict in the border area between Turkey and Syria from a gender perspective. Pinar explains the Kurdish efforts for autonomy in North-Eastern Syria, and the ideology underpinning the development of Rojava. In doing so she discusses the attraction of Rojava for both Kurdish men and women, from a gender-perspective, and the uniqueness of Kurdish gender relations in a region that is often lagging in gender equality. Furthermore, Pinar explains Turkey's understanding of Kurdish autonomy in North-Eastern Syria, and why it is viewed as a threat. Lastly, Pinar touches upon the status of the areas in Northern Syria re-taken by Turkey last year.

 The lecture is free and will be available through the Litteraturhuset website for the next two months. Be sure to watch it here.