Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

Miss Kurdistan pageant raises questions about women's role in society

By Glenn Field 7/10/2016
The winner, Zhalia Sirwan, is a 20-year old college student from Sulaimani. Photo: Rudaw video
The winner, Zhalia Sirwan, is a 20-year old college student from Sulaimani. Photo: Rudaw video

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The third annual Miss Kurdistan beauty pageant raises questions of what is beauty, feminism, and the role of women in Kurdish society. 


“I think that women are beautiful and they make the world more beautiful,” Maria Manousaki, producer of the film Cloudy Sunday and member of the pageant’s jury, told Rudaw. “No matter what age or necessity and Kurdish women are especially beautiful.” 

“Beauty is a word that has a lot of connotations and symbolisms and practicalities so I am waiting to listen,” Manousaki added. 

“The facial and the intellectual and the psychic and the practicality: how is the beauty used? It is a beautiful county, Kurdistan. What do I do for my country? What do I do for the world? What can I do? A prize not only gives you honor but a road to do things,” she explained.

The event was hosted by Babylon FM’s Saz Aso and Noor Matti. Matti praised Kurdish women to the 400 people in attendance at the event, “In Kurdistan, I love how families are really close together and the mother is the head of the family.” 


Neshuan Zato, one of the event’s organizers, said society is changing, “particularly for women… for freedom, for using her rights, for equality, for everything.”

Another member of the jury, Angelina Miran, known as “Angel B” on Babylon FM, explained that the women are judged on charisma and personality. 

“I think it’s something that shines,” Miran told Rudaw before the pageant began. “It’s something inside, like a light. You can see in their eyes. I had the pleasure to interview some of the contestants and some have more of a glow than others. This is really their time to shine.” 

Miran believes that the event is a step in the right direction with respect to women’s role in Kurdish society. 

“This is a step in the right direction. I think it is a positive sign. All the girls have a strong sense of women’s power and empowering women in Kurdistan. It’s nice for them to get glammed up and events like this are positive. I think the girls would stand just as good a chance in America as they would here.” 

Organizers of the event also hoped to show to the world that life in the Kurdistan Region goes on, despite the financial crisis and the frontline with the Islamic State just down the road.

“We are trying to show the world that we are still living,” Zato told Rudaw. “We are not just the people who are fighting and sitting in the problems. We are now showing the world that we are living normal lives. We have our social lives and everything. So we want to show the world that they can come here. They can join us. They can do business here. They can come for tourism. That is the target of this event.”


The pageant was sponsored by the Kurdistan Tourism Board and Babylon Company. Babylon manager Salwan Zaitoun said the event cost an estimated $350,000.

The winner, Zhalia Sirwan, is a 20-year old college student from Sulaimani. 

Comments

 
Outsider | 7/10/2016
This is a very positive event for the whole Kurdish population, no matter what country they live in! Kurdistan, most of the world is proud of your march toward a modern democratic society.
Mohamedzzz | 8/10/2016
Bravo
6210 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Leon | 4/20/2019 11:40:24 AM
Islam is cancer and it must be destroyed. The only way forward for the Middle East is to abandon Pisslam. It is the most vile religion and has driven...
Istanbul vote result marks watershed in political history
| 8 hours ago | (1)
Jay | 4/19/2019 10:43:13 PM
PUK should stop making tasks for forming the government harder and Iraqi Kurds should start negotiating with the central government. Despite PUK...
Kurdi | 4/20/2019 10:42:40 AM
Rudaw : how come only Muraz can comment and I see comments reduced to almost nil ??!!! This proves that you are clandestine
Gorran and PUK ready to sign on dotted line or are gaps still too big?
| yesterday at 11:24 | (4)
Peter | 4/20/2019 6:55:20 AM
Good. Turkish "soldiers" are terrorists, no different to any other member of ISIS.
4 Turkish soldiers killed in skirmish with PKK: defense ministry
| 11 hours ago | (1)
Hans | 4/11/2019 8:09:05 PM
@fraud, let's see if we understand this, so Kurds, who at the time held no power in Turkey, committed genocide on christians for Turks, then FLED...
Shahin Sorekli | 4/20/2019 4:39:55 AM
The name of this town has always been "Kobani." I challenge anyone to show me the evidence that the false name "Kobane" existed before 2011.
Kobane or Kobani? History won't care, but some locals will
| 10/4/2019 | (9)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

President Macron pledges ‘military, civilian support': SDC leader 20 hours ago | (1)

President Macron pledges ‘military, civilian support': SDC leader

The SDC is the political wing of the co more
Watchdog concerned with press freedom in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey 21 hours ago | (1)

Watchdog concerned with press freedom in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey

Norway, Finland and Sweden topped the list more
Iraq parliament to host regional rivals in Baghdad 22 hours ago |

Iraq parliament to host regional rivals in Baghdad

Baghdad has sought to bring Syria back into the more
0.484 seconds