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Four new women’s co-operative projects open in Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava)

Co-operation in Mesopotamia is one of the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA)’s major, and most successful projects. Its aim is to foster international solidarity and further education about the largely women-driven co-operative economy that is growing, despite ongoing war, in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, commonly known as Rojava.

The project began with a research, translation and education focus, and over the past 3 years SEA has shared over 300 articles on the website, run around 30 workshops all over the UK, and developed strong relationships with many partners, including women’s economic bodies in Rojava, as well as co-ops and co-op bodies in the UK. The project has received overwhelmingly positive engagement, and the UK co-op movement is now much better informed about its counterpart in Rojava.

Here is the article of October 23

Four new women’s co-operative projects open in Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava)

Several new women’s co-operative projects have opened in the Jazira region of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava).

The projects focus on agriculture, animal husbandry, food, and clothing, and will contribute yet further to the thriving women’s economy in the region. They are located in the city of Hesekê and have been developed by the Women’s Committee in the Hesekê Economy Directorate.

The projects are run co-operatively and include:

A dairy farm in Hesekê’s El Silêymaniyê village, which has been built by 11 women and active since 1st September. Duha Mihemed, one of the women involved in the project, said that it was important for the spirit of partnership, and to prevent commercial fraud.

The Inanna Kitchen, which opened in the El Kelase village of Hesekê, where women prepare food for the winter and sell it for well below market prices, and prepare daily meals. One of the project’s partners, Zêneb Umer, said they are taking some of the burden off women’s shoulders.

The Ishtar Women’ Bakery in the El Nasre neighbourhood, opened by 8 women.

The Women’s Committee has been supporting the development of agriculture in Hesekê too, distributing most of the region’s arable land among 300 women. These women have started to produce crops in these plots, and wells will also be created in the coming days.

In addition, generators have been established along several of the city’s streets, providing power for 130 homes each.

Women’s Committee administrator Cewhera Mihemed said they are launching new projects to develop the women’s economy in the region though co-operatives.


 

 

Greece: a bill on the SSE will soon be presented to Parliament
October 16, 2016
0
Gréce, Greece

The Greek Government will soon present a Bill to the Parliament on the “Social and Solidarity Economy and the development of its agencies”, in order to expand to other forms of enterprises the scope of the 2011 Law on cooperatives, which no longer meets current needs.

This law will therefore focus on cooperatives, collaborative work as well as on mutual societies, associations and foundations.  According to  CECOP,, most of the provisions are actually to define and regulate social cooperatives and associated work.

 

The Greek Minister of Employment, Rania Antonopoulou, has set among the objectives of the law the development of  “all small businesses”, including those addressing needs of education, health, employment, environment and support to migrants.

Parmi les objectifs de la Ministre adjointe de l’Emploi, Rania Antonopoulou, qui porte cette loi, figure le développement des “toutes petites entreprises”, dont celles répondant à des besoins d’éducation, de santé, d’emploi, d’environnement et de soutien des migrants.

[Source: RTES]

From the UK to Rojava and Bakur: solidarity with an Economy at War
October 3, 2016
0
rojava cooperative economy

by Institute of Solidarity Economics (ISE)

Cooperative Economy in Rojava and Bakur is a research and solidarity-building initiative that aims to engage the UK and European cooperative movements in better understanding what is happening in Rojava (North Syria / West Kurdistan) and Bakur (East Turkey / North Kurdistan).

Rojava, the predominantly Kurdish-inhabited region of northern Syria, has been a de-facto autonomous region since the Assad regime withdrew and residents declared their independence in July 2012, in the midst of the Syrian Civil War. It is currently the most stable part of Syria, despite being on the front-line in the war against ISIS, suffering a recent invasion from Turkey, attacks by the Assad regime, and having all of its borders closed and trade stifled from all sides. Despite these conditions, a real revolution is flourishing, with women’s liberation, ecology and direct democracy at its heart. The entire structure of society is being rebuilt from the bottom up, including the justice system, education system, and of course, the economy. Cooperatives are springing up across the region, including women-only cooperatives, with the support of the women’s movement umbrella, Kongira Star. Their aim is to eventually transition to a completely cooperative economy, though they are currently a long way from that aim.

Read more

Athens: RIPESS EU coordination meets with Greek solidarity economy movements
September 20, 2014
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Greece 15 sept 2014 meeting

Between September 14th and 16th 2014, the RIPESS Europe Coordination Committee met in Athens.  They were hosted by Solidarity4all and the Synallois cooperative. Two members of these organisations presented the Greek context during the RIPESS General Assembly that took place in June 2014, as well as the significance of their activities that are aimed at coping with the difficulties that the citizens who are victims of the financial crisis. The measures imposed by the Troika (which is what the Greeks call the European Union, the IMF and the World Bank) have lead to serious impoverishment of the Greek people, as well as a the rise of unemployment (factories and shops and services have closed down), as well as the degradation of working conditions in terms of job insecurity and low salaries. The Committee wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the situation, and meet with people who are organising the resistance to the degradation of living conditions.

The first day was dedicated to presenting RIPESS to the members of the various associations and cooperatives that have been springing up all over the territory. The principle of these meetings is to encourage dialogue between participants and help build strategies that will support citizens’ initiatives, so that there will be improved collective organisation as well as improved living conditions.

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