“When I went there I would tell people I’m not going there to kill anyone, I’m going there to help people.” In 2014, Hanna Bohman decided to make a decision that would change the rest of her life. Leaving the safety from her Canada home and after seeing the pain ISIS brought on so many, she decided to do something about it. After some research, she got in contact with a recruiter who encourages women to volunteer to help fight ISIS.
She goes on to explain that ISIS believed that if a soldier is killed by a woman, then they go to hell. Because of this belief, there have been many women who have gone out to fight against ISIS. One of the major groups is YPG.
YPG, Women’s Defense Unit, is a group of women fighting to protect women and fighting for women’s rights. Established in 2013, the group stemmed out of a Kurdish resistance movement. What started off as about 7,000 fighters, steadily grew from there. As of March 2017, there are 24,000 fighters. Volunteers who come to fight for the group are required to train for a month and study Jineology. Jineology is about gender equality and feminism.
So why would Western women such as Bohman want to leave the comfort of their countries to go fight in a war? For her, the answer is pretty simple summed up: “I’ve always wanted to pay it forward, my good fortune of having grown up in Canada.” She has always been aware of the safety in her life, so after an accident on her motorbike and other things in life, so after re-evaluating her life, she decided this was the right thing for her to do.
After hearing about ISIS so much in the news headlines, she figured that if there’s a way to volunteer for ISIS, there should be a way to volunteer against ISIS. There was. She found out more on the YPG, whose main goal is to bring women’s rights to the Middle East.
“When I went there I would tell people I’m not going there to kill anyone, I’m going there to help people. But then, you know, a lot of friends get killed and you start to change.” Bohman’s incredible bravery has inspired several women. She mentions that she gets letters from women who write her saying that she inspired them in life, no so much as joining the military, but just as an inspiration.
Fear Us Women is an amazing short documentary on the insight on women who are fighting for women’s rights. These women are truly brave and unbelievable. Their story is a true inspiration to everyone.
Bohman’s message to all ISIS fighters is a poem tattooed clearly on her arm for all to see: “Fear us women, oh enemies of humanity. For you who die by our hand, will burn in Hell forever.”