Women from Heart of Kobani to Beats of Trafalgar Sq.

  • 20150227125132_hannahstarkeyportrait2014originalfile History is Now
    At London’s Southbank Centre, the exhibition History is Now: 7 Artists Take on B…

Maryam Violet

7 May 2015

Women From the Heart of Kobani to the Beats of Trafalgar Square


On International Women’s Day, March 7, 2015, the Million Women Rise movement descended on London’s Trafalgar Square in droves. Predominately based in London, Million Women Rise is an organization dedicated, as stated in their press release, to “calling for an end to male violence against women.” With picket signs and, in some cases, drums in hand, attendees at this year’s Million Women Rise march flooded the square to spread this demand. They chanted “One woman, one body, one soul, one love” and spoke for women’s rights from a grandstand nearby. Signs declared everything from “Viva the Vulva” to “Not your bitch.” An event with international resonance, many of the participants could be seen wearing traditional dress representative of their individual cultures. In this video, Zanan TV’s Maryam Violet and Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh capture the atmosphere and interview a few of the demonstration participants.


Zanan TV spends some time with Michelle, a demonstrator at Million Women Rise and representative in the Kurdistan National Congress. Through lobbying and other diplomatic work, Michelle collaborates with British politicians, NGOs, trade unions, women’s groups and other organizations to spread the word about women’s rights in Kurdistan. Michelle describes the various forms of conflict that have recently inflicted her homeland, from problems with ISIS to negotiating peace in Turkish portions of the region.


Michelle also shares with Zanan TV about the work being done by women in Kurdistan to, as she says, “demolish the patriarchal establishment” at “every political level.” Speaking of the all-women army units that have formed in her home country, Michelle explains that women have the power in these communities. “They’re not taking any orders from men anymore,” she remarks. Michelle also addresses the glamorization of these Kurdish women fighters in mainstream media. Referencing the “beautiful Kurdish girls” with guns that appear in the international news cycle, she insists: “the reality is not glamorous.”


For more information about Million Women Rise, visit the movement’s website at www.millionwomenrise.com.

A  zanan TV Production

By Maryam Violet

Video Editor: Meysam Arshadi