PARTICIPATORY ECONOMY

THE WOMEN’S THE WOMEN’S Economic Committee was established in 2015 in order to build a democratic social economy. It serves the needs of women and of all of Northern Syrian society, and works to build a new model “for effort and value.” This model will revive the culture of collective economics in all communities, and thus will ensure that all people have the economic support they need to thrive. The economy takes in complimentary support, based on the principle that “an economy without capital is possible, but a capital without an economy isn’t possible.” Strengthening women’s self-confidence in economic matters ensures that women can reach an economic independence which is necessary for the struggle for freedom as well as confronting capitalism.

The Women’s Economic Committee began to offer training courses in councils and communes so that women could understand their true economic identity, realize that they could play an important role in the society’s economy, and give an ecological culture to the economy and society. Together, these courses presented an alternative to capitalist culture, which seeks profit at the expense of environmental preservation. The economic committee established cooperative associations in order to develop women’s roles in all economic fields, to provide social and economic support, and to ensure equality. The concept of the women’s economy in Rojava/North Syria is not like the economic system of any modern state.
Throughout history, women have been the most generous people and guards of the ethical values of society— attributes that are related to the role women had as mothers of the society, since the beginning of humanity. When a woman had a child, that child would need food, shelter and clothes, and the woman would have to protect it from all dangers. She would cut tree leaves to cover her child to protect it from the cold, shelter her family in caves for safety, and collect grains to feed her family and herself. Women bore a huge responsibility for the society.

Women were the first to discover agriculture and agricultural tools. Women learned to grow grains by watching spilled and forgotten grain sprout and grow after it was left alone for a certain period of time. They then learned how to cultivate, harvest, and store grain at a larger scale. This was not done for the profit and political power of an elite, but in order to feed their clans. The surplus was stored and spread when needed among the community or shared with other clans. With this friendship relations and good social reputation were strengthened.
These communities saw mothers as sacred and representative of the mother earth. They sculpted statues of generous and protective mother figures, like the goddesses Ishtar or Inanna. A lot of these figurines were found in depots of food, representing the live-giving, nutritive and fertile aspects of the human mothers and mother earth.

With time because of different reasons, society changed and an authoritarian masculine mentality came into existence. This was a long process, but finally women lost the role they had in the society and men managed to shape a hierarchical society, as they sought to control and possess all parts of society. These men underestimated women, and oppressed them through violent means. They sought to marginalize women in the economy and in society.

This collective spirit is human nature and is the true essence of the economy.

These communities saw mothers as sacred and representative of the mother earth. They sculpted statues of generous and protective mother figures, like the goddesses Ishtar or Inanna. A lot of these figurines were found in depots of food, representing the live-giving, nutritive and fertile aspects of the human mothers and mother earth. With time because of different reasons, society changed and an authoritarian masculine mentality came into existence. This was a long process, but finally women lost the role they had in the society and men managed to shape a hierarchical society, as they sought to control and possess all parts of society. These men underestimated women, and oppressed them through violent means. They sought to marginalize women in the economy and in society.

Instead, an anti-economy was established, which benefits an elite through the exploitation and oppression of others. It is this anti-economy which we are still faced with nowadays in the capitalist system.When the Rojava Revolution began, women once again started to play an active role in the field of economy. In order to empower more women to become active and to build a united force against capitalist anti-economy, we women saw the need to form an organization for communal economy.

PROJECTS OF THE WOMEN’S ECONOMIC COMMITTEE

The Women’s Economic Committee began to offer training courses in councils and communes so that women could understand their true economic identity, realize that they could play an important role in the society’s economy, and give an ecological culture to the economy and society. Together, these courses presented an alternative to capitalist culture, which seeks profit at the expense of environmental preservation.

The economic committee established cooperative associations in order to develop women’s roles in all economic fields, to provide social and economic support, and to ensure equality. The concept of the women’s economy in Rojava/North Syria is not like the economic system of any modern state. It is not limited to the bourgeois classes, but rather, equally includes all people from all backgrounds, in order to destroy racism and discrimination.

Each association consists of at least 7 women. They are created according to the people’s needs, not within the framework of authoritarian power projects. Each association assesses needs and works on relevant projects.They are overseen by The Associations’ House, which supervises, organizes, and supports the projects. 86 associations, employing 7,000 women in total, have been established across Jazira province, in Qamishli, Amude, Derbasiye and other areas. A union of cooperative associations has been established.

INDUSTRIAL PROJECTS

The committee equipped Hassakeh and Ras Al-Ain with large generators. It planned to establish associations in villages and towns for all of the region’s women to improve their social and financial situation and increase tolerance.

COMMERCIAL PROJECTS

Trade associations have been established for women, as well as associations for poultry, dairy, and cheese factories, canning factories, the Nergez detergent factory, and the Nesrin factory. The committee has also established.

AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS

Kongreya Star has established agricultural cooperatives in which women do all of the agricultural work— including shares, cultivation of land, harvesting and other tasks— by themselves, without men. In these cooperatives, synthetic fertilizers are not used, so that crops do not become contaminated, and workers remove weeds by hand rather than with herbicides. Agricultural work is carried out jointly by all members of the cooperatives, and profits are distributed evenly.