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Movement to raise awareness about the plight of Uyghur women on March 8, 2021

On March 8 of this year, on the occasion of the International Women’s Rights Day, we decided to make visible Uyghur women who have been or are still locked up in camps in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). For this, our president, Dilnur Reyhan, called on French artists and personalities for help, and they answered! 

The issue of women in the Uyghur Region deserves to be highlighted, because in the genocidal process we are witnessing, as in many other genocides, women suffer specific forms of violence. Women are less likely to be victims of mass murder than the men of the targeted community. However, their role in the biological reproduction of the group, as well as in the cultural reproduction of the group in patriarchal societies, makes them important targets. Sexual violence, separation from their children, forced marriages, slavery, forced sterilizations, etc., are the attacks that lead to a slow death of the individuals in question but also of the group itself. These attacks are the essence of genocide, just as much as mass murder is.

In the case of the Uyghur situation, women in the diaspora are playing a central role in activism to raise public awareness of the tragedy unfolding in their native region and to push the governments of their countries to action. This is the case of our president, Dilnur Reyhan, but also of Akida Pulat, Rushan Abbas, Ziba Murat, Jewher Ilham, Adila Yarmuhammad, Rayhan Asat, Nursiman Abdureshit, Inty Elham, Gulzire Tashmemet, Gulhumar Haitiwaji, Nyrola Elimä, etc. Uyghur women in the diaspora are also working to preserve and perpetuate the Uyghur language and culture, like Muyesser Abdul’ehed Hendan. The majority of camp survivors who testify about their internment are women. This is the case of Gulbahar Jelilova, Gulbahar Haitiwaji, Mihrigul Tursun, Zumret Dawut, Tursunay Ziyawudun, Sayragul Sauytbay (a Kazakh woman), and others.

Each French artist and personality participated in this campaign posted a photo of a Uyghur victim on Instagram, accompanied by the following text:

Hundreds of thousands of Uyghur women are currently locked up and tortured in Chinese concentration camps. Not for what they did, but for what they are. Inside the camps, the women live in horror, permanently chained: sexual torture, gang rapes, anal rape with an electric stick, electric shocks in the vagina, sterilizations and forced abortions, etc.

Outside the camps, women are also repressed: the Chinese communist regime forces them to cut their long hair to become “modern women”; women wearing dresses or skirts that are “too long” for the authorities’ taste are arrested and, at the height of ignominy, while their husbands are locked up, Uyghur women are forced to share their beds and homes with Chinese officials sent by Beijing.

The images and videos of Chinese men living in Uyghur houses and the testimonies of rapes of young girls in these families by these Chinese civil servants regularly scandalize the internet.

. It is also known since last year that Uyghur women are the main victims of the regime’s forced labor policy. This enslavement benefits big international brands…

As a Uyghur maxim says: “The woman is the sun of the woman”. The Uyghur women need the help and solidarity of the world.

THEY NEED YOU: part of the work of the European Uyghur Institute is to make visible the suffering of Uyghur women, to collect the testimony of the survivors, to accompany and protect them. On this 8th of March, international women’s rights day, the institute needs 30 000€ to bring its project into reality and continue the fight for Uyghur women.

Thanks to this campaign, the institute raised the desired 30,000 euros to help Uyghur women in the diaspora in any way possible. Thank you to all the people who supported us through this campaign!

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