Title: Kurdish Women Claiming Citizen Rights and Woman Agency Through Language Revitalisation and Folklore Collecting
Stream: Gender, Sexuality and Culture
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Joanna Bochenska, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Hüseyin Rodi Keskin, Jagiellonian University, Poland
The paper investigates the different cultural activities of Kurdish women aiming at protecting and revitalising Kurdish language which include collecting and publishing of folklore, translating into Kurdish and creating literature in Kurdish. Throughout the 20th century countries like Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran imposed different restrictions on the Kurdish language which in many cases lead to the gradual language shift toward official languages. According to Fishman, language revitalisation does not only pertain to care for a language. Rather, it brings about a complete, self-defining way of life. By taking care for language Kurdish women not only build an alternative toward the state policy of denial, they also win more respect and freedom within their community. Drawing from Martha Nussbaum’s capability approach as well as from Shawn Wilson’s take on the research ceremony, we demonstrate in what way the care for Kurdish language and culture enables women to claim their citizen rights as Kurdish women. Finally, we argue that the various intergenerational and family relations may serve as a morally empowering factor inspiring women emancipation and development.
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