Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani gave his strongest-ever indication on Monday that his region would seek formal independence from the rest of Iraq.
But now, for the first time, Syrian Kurds – above all the women – have the opportunity to shape their own lives. Women make up 35 percent of the 45,000 fighters. “Women used to be suppressed and exploited in our society, and regarded as inferior by the men,” Canda says. “Now we have the chance to be role models for Kurds and for other ethnicities – for instance, for Arab women.”