University of Utrecht
As I am writing this editorial in October 2022, current events unfolding in Kurdistan are resonating around the globe in unprecedented ways. The death of the young Kurdish woman Jîna (Mahsa) Amini at the hands of Iranian morality police on 16 September has sparked mass protests in Iran, which at the time of writing are entering their fifth week. Some call them the greatest challenge to the Islamic Republic since its establishment. Protesters both inside and outside Iran have been rallying around the Kurdish slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” (translated in Persian as “Zan, zandagî, azadî”) indicating the profound gendered nature of an uprising that has been driven by women’s rage, resentment, and grievances. At the same time, the slogan also points to the Kurdish discontent at play in the protests, and repression has been especially fierce in the provinces of Kurdistan and Baluchistan. In this context, these protests should also be read as part and parcel of the century-old struggle for greater political and cultural freedoms against the Iranian state’s chauvinist tendencies. As editorial team of Kurdish Studies, we would like to express our solidarity with the protesters. While it is too early to tell what the outcomes will be, we believe the intersectional nature of both women’s and Kurdish grievances needs to be recognised and we hope that lasting change can be achieved.