Females on the Frontline

Kurdish women have always played an important role defending their country.

History describes women fighting alongside men as well as leading armies as early as 605 BC. With the worldwide coverage of the war against ISIS, Kurdish female fighters have emerged as popular figures for their effectiveness and bravery in battle. Leading by example, they have also inspired millions of people around the world to stand up for women’s equality.

To celebrate Women's History Month this March, please join us in thanking these women for their strength, breaking gender norms, and fighting for freedom and equal opportunity.


Female Fighters Infographic

Meet the Women

Watch the interviews below to meet Sozan, Nishtiman, Kurdistan, and Zehra – four extraordinary Kurdish women who are risking their lives to keep others safe.

Sozan, 19

Sozan has been serving with the Peshmerga for one year as an inspector. She has one brother and two sisters.

Her message: “You have to figure out a way to show the strength inside yourself. Never feel that you are less than men in your community.”

Nishtiman, 26

Nishtiman, whose name means “homeland”, is a 26-year old unit commander. She’s been fighting for four years and serves alongside her husband and brother in the Peshmerga.

Her message: “As women, our strength is unlimited.”

Kurdistan, 21

Kurdistan has served with the Peshmerga for one year. She is a commander of support and training for other female fighters. She has two brothers, ages 7 and 2.

Her message: “If you really want something, you have to fight for it.”

Zehra, 26

Zehra has been fighting with the Peshmerga for eight years. She’s in charge of a unit of 100 female fighters.

Her message: “The most important thing is that a female feels like she’s free.”

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