Independent league of Yezidi-Kurdish Women, Georgia

Independent league of Yezidi-Kurdish Women, Georgia

The Independent League of Yezidi-Kurdish Women in Georgia was founded in 2002 and is an organisation for and by women of the Yezidi-Kurdish  ethnic minority. The Yezidi-Kurdish community experiences discrimination and marginalisation in mainstream society and lives in relative isolation. Women are confronted with various forms of violence and rights violations preserved as ‘tradition’ and ‘cultural heritage’ in their community.

The group sees violence in the Yezidi-Kurdish communities in Georgia as the key obstacle in achieving freedom and self-determination for women, including participation in public life and decision making. The violence is grounded in centuries old traditional practices and attitudes based on religious dogmas and manifests in all kinds of forms: in early and forced marriage, in confinement in the house of girls and women by their families and husbands, in girls being prevented from going to school and women being prevented from having a job or other activities outside the house, and in normalisation of physical violence against women and girls. The result is a vicious circle of violence, oppression, isolation, lack of education and capacity building. It also results in economic, emotional and practical dependence of women from their families and husbands, and in the absence of women from any decision making bodies.

The group wants to firmly embed gender equality principles and practices in their community. The women give workshops and trainings where fundamentalist interpretations of religious norms are discussed and challenged. They organise legal assistance and are involved in public schools in their villages.

The Independent League of Yezidi-Kurdish Women received grants by Mama Cash in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012.

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