Iranian Women’s Resolve Will Lead Them To Freedom
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate all the achievements and progresses made by women and to work on the challenges ahead.
In such a day, we remember women who struggled, sacrificed their lives for gender equality, and led the way for the rest of us.
Yet, the situation for women in my country, Iran, is different.
Women have also been struggling for the freedom of our homeland for forty-one years.
Iranian women under a misogynist dictatorship, have been subjected to gender-based discrimination, repression and brutal state violence more than any other nation. But over the years of confrontation with the clerical regime, generations of women have emerged realizing that equality in Iran is impossible without overthrowing the dictatorship and erasing all its discriminatory laws, traditions, and cultures.
In recent protests in Iran, in November 2019, more than 1500 people were killed, including 400 women. Even a 14-year-old girl by the name of Nikta was among the victims. Many were arrested, are right now under torture and their whereabouts are unknown.
In the past 40 years, 120,000 members of our movement were killed by the religious fascism ruling Iran, 30% of which were women. Many were brutally tortured and finally executed. 13-year-old girls, such as Fatemeh Mesbah and even pregnant women, such as Massoumeh Azdanlou, were executed by this regime.
Today, teenage girls and women, members of rebellious units in Iran, have a leading role in recent protests. No doubt, they have followed the footsteps of those women who graciously gave their lives to lead the way for them.
These women are following the lead of Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and her famous motto: We must overcome, and we shall overcome all obstacles.
She believes in a secular, democratic Iran where men and women will be equal in every aspect.
On March 8th, we salute the Iranian women who have stood and still stand against the misogynistic tyranny in Iran and demand their rights to freedom and gender parity. They are willing to pay the price against the systematic suppression, even with their lives and have been fighting to realize generation equality. The brave women of Iran have learned that freedom comes at a price, and they are willing to pay it.
They lead the struggle of Iranian people towards freedom and democracy, and their fearless resolve will eventually be realized.
Elham Zanjani is a member of the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)