The photo above was taken by Asmaa Waguih for Reuters
The Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, is a Kurdish militant group based in the Kurdish region of Turkey. Like most Kurdish groups, they practice equality for women in various parts of their culture, and are known to have a 40% female quota for their armed forces. That is, 40% of their armed forces are female.
When these women join the PKK’s armed forces, they must leave their families and communities behind to go serve where they are needed.
PKK Female Fighters in Iraq and Syria
Recently, the PKK made news for sending armed troops across the border from Turkey, into the Syrian region of Kurdistan, and into Iraqi Kurdistan, where they fought, side-by-side with the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG.
Foreign Affairs recently published a photo gallery that includes these PKK female fighters in Sinjar, a region that includes Mount Sinjar, in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. Click the link below to visit the Foreign Affairs photo gallery and see what life looks like for the Kurdish females who have renounced everything to fight against the Islamic State.[Read more and see the whole gallery at Foreign Affairs]