Since Miraballer, our uprising has not stopped, but continues.

We publish an unofficial translation on the article published on Yeni Demokrat Kadin.

The Mirabal sisters, who were murdered 63 years ago, occupy an important place in the history of the women’s struggle. Their will to rebel against the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo lives on in the consciousness of the world’s oppressed women and is constantly being revitalised. The struggle of the Mirabal sisters is particularly remarkable when it comes to understanding the forms that the state takes in its violence against women.

The place of women in the social struggle has always had to be treated with caution by those in power. Especially when the mission of women to lead the masses has become a reality, as with the Mirabal sisters, they want to destroy this will and wear it down with all kinds of vile attacks.

Were the Miraballians as terrible as Trujillo made them out to be? Not for us, but for them, yes: a frightening revolutionary will! Women are perceived by those in power as “good, self-sacrificing, oppressed”. Women to whom these terms do not apply are marginalised and attempts are made to create the impression among the masses that they are not actually “women”. The Mirabal sisters are an example of this. This is what was done to them right from the start. We saw a similar example in the case of Ayfer Celep, a guerrilla commander in Turkey. Ayfer, who is portrayed as a “monster with the face of an angel”, fought in the fiercest areas of the women’s liberation struggle. She also became immortalised during the action to welcome 8 March and is the work of the revolutionary struggle of communist and working women. Like the Miraballers, she did not limit her struggle to the oppression of women. The consciousness that unites Ayfer and the women of Miraballer is that they see the liberation of women as a goal of the social struggle, as an integral part of the social struggle. The male-dominated character of the state gives colour to almost all attacks. While organised women are “punished” with imprisonment, arrest, murder and sexual assault, unorganised women (the mass of women) become the target of all kinds of attacks. Those in power attempt to prevent women’s participation in social life and ultimately in social struggle through a variety of attacks, such as the appropriation of acquired rights, the entrenchment of misogyny in leadership, the justification of gender inequality in education and the shifting of poverty onto women. These essentially arise from the need to shape social awareness.


The state has a misogynistic face that it cannot hide and that it no longer tries to hide. The cancellation of the Istanbul Convention has given women the impression of an “unsafe” order. This was created by state spokespeople themselves. The “new” situation, which is also supported by the judiciary and the media, has created more room for male-dominated ways of thinking. As we can see in the new implementation law, in the discussions about the constitution, in the nature of family councils, in the regulations in schools, there is an absolutely beleaguered element of women, and there is one or many points where women’s liberation struggle is targeted. Murderers of women are sent to prison for a few years, child molesters, harassers and rapists are sometimes not arrested and often released after a few months with reward-like sentences. Those who murder LGBTI+ people are treated as “heroes”. Even when there is a public outcry, symbolic punishments are imposed to avoid a backlash. These punishments are later reduced or included in the new execution law.

The male-dominated nature of the justice system is not limited to this area! There is a legal system in which women who want a divorce have to spend years in court, in which maintenance payments are so low that they are not worth claiming or are unaffordable for the other party, in which divorced women receive no state support and in which no protective measures are taken. These rights, which have already been prevented in practice, are now also being prevented by the courts, but this time officially.

Although the state could not behave in the same way in times when the mass movement of women was stronger as it does today, there is a continuous pattern of behaviour. With its non-independent judiciary, the state has never abandoned this position, which also paves the way for the murder of women. In the first 10 months of 2023, 332 women were murdered. Dozens of women were driven to suicide. Some of the murdered women had taken protective measures against their perpetrators. The murder of some of them was not even enough to arrest the perpetrators.

Feudalism is the most important factor driving the policy of normalising domestic violence. We know that when women are not engaged in production, they are confined at home, even by force, and that the outside world is forbidden or restricted for them. With the consciousness of being naturally responsible for the care of the “dependent” family members, with the feeling and the idea of being the natural labour force in the household, with this feudal consciousness implanted in her by society, she is condemned to a life in the clutches of reaction. The closure to the consciousness that results from social production protects and develops many outdated ideas. Ideas such as that a woman’s place is in the home, that duties as a mother and wife are God’s commandments and must be fulfilled, have room for continuous production and development: these ideas are taught again and again in various areas of society such as television programmes, news channels, in the family, in church services and faith centres. The ideological attacks of those in power are reflected in such social spaces. The reason why housework and domestic violence are invisible is that the family, which is supposed to be the nucleus of society, is not social and must remain private. In their social status, women are first and foremost mothers, sisters, wives or aunts. These kinship or family identities are the primary identities of women. A woman is primarily responsible for carrying these identities correctly. She is charged with this responsibility! Private, but a private life under the rule of the dominant ideology! Because, as a common saying goes: “What happens in the family, stays in the family”.

Erdoğan made clear at the 8th Family Council the concerns of decision-makers about divorce, the increase in the age of marriage and the inability to procreate. The state has rolled up its sleeves to eliminate these situations, which are labelled as “bad” characteristics of modern man. It will start offering interest-free credit for marriage to make it easier to get married and lower the age of marriage. The right to maintenance payments has been controversial for years. Absurd proposals have been put forward, such as women receiving alimony for as long as they are married. It is well known that these discussions pave the way for legislation. Women are already facing an economic attack and must consider divorce as a last resort. So there is a possibility that the right to divorce will continue to be practically prevented. In other words, men or women cannot get divorced; the state will not let them divorce. Most women are not married because they want to be, but because they can’t get divorced!

The instruments used by the state to shape society are all dominated by men. Communities and sectarian organisations as well as educational institutions are also used effectively in this context. With all the “opportunities” it claims to offer, the individual is integrated into society from an early age. These opportunities, conceived within the framework of the bourgeois-feudal order, are now “mandatory goals” for the masses as poverty has reached extreme proportions. With its boarding schools and community hostels, the imposition of religion through to pre-school education, its muftis and KYK hostels, it feeds an understanding that sees women as the second sex and therefore claims the right to ‘use’ women. It also exerts pressure on the young women by strictly controlling the times for entering and leaving the dormitory, influencing their dress and expelling those who do not adhere to this discipline.

Poverty is the basis of the oppression of women. This is where the importance of social struggle will become apparent. In this way, women are pushed into areas that are dominated by the ideology of men. We reject their understanding of creating “their own women” in these areas. Women who have to live in the family, in homes and in poor working conditions due to poverty have made progress by taking part in actions and in the struggle for freedom. The sustainability of the successes and the continuity of the struggle are guaranteed by the organisation of women. Let’s keep the Mirabal sisters’ flag flying high and fight for our freedom.

Next post 25 November is the day of women’s rebellion