Thousands of female soldiers have joined Kurdish forces in an effort to protect Christians and minorities from ISIS. The Christian Post reports about 8,000 women from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey have joined the Women’s Protection Unit, or YPJ, a Kurdish military that aims to defend Syrian civilians.
Many of the young women are on the front lines, operating heavy weapons and killing ISIS militants in battle.
The female soldiers have a slight advantage over ISIS fighters, as the militants fear being killed by women. According to their Islamic extremist beliefs, dying at the hand of a woman means they will not enter heaven.
The women also seek to turn around gender stereotypes in the Middle East; in their culture women are viewed as inferior to men. They are expected to marry, raise children and remain in the home.
24-year-old soldier Nasreen Kobani told The Christian Post, "Women soldiers are free and proud… free of all boundaries and cultural restrictions. Women are mostly under a man's power in this part of the world. However as soldiers we are equal, even in the field.”
Publication date: August 17, 2015