Women-only village in northern Syria under threat after Turkish offensive - report

A female-only ecological commune in northeast Syria built up for displaced women and children has come under threat since Turkey started a military offensive against Kurdish-controlled territories in the region last month, the magazine Elle reported

The Turkish military and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels seized a 32 km deep region between northeastern the Syrian border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn during the nine-day offensive, while Turkey and Russia agreed to establish a 30 km safe zone along a 444 km stretch of the border from which Syrian Kurdish forces would withdraw.

The cooperative called Jinwar (Women’s Land) is home to more than 30 women, many of them widowed in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), and their children, Elle said. The village was built to be a feminist utopia and is governed by a democratically elected town council. Men are allowed to visit only during specific hours.

“Here they provide a lot of benefits like education for the kids, their living expenses. It is a nice village, most importantly, my kids like it,” said 33-year old Amira Muhammad, whose husband died fighting ISIS in 2017.

“It’s a wild feminist experiment in democratic communal living that’s happening in one of the most socially conservative regions in the world, and for nearly two years it seemed like it might actually work,” Elle said about Jinwar. “But with Turkey’s ongoing military offensive against the Syrian Kurds, whom Turkey considers terrorists, the village has been under constant threat, and on Monday it was temporarily evacuated following heavy shelling,” it said.