Iranian Women’s Role in Current Protests

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Maryam Hejazi  –  Februay 24, 2018

For several years now, Iranians that live in the United States have been working hard to echo their sentiments regarding oppression and mistreatment from the Iranian government back home. The Organization for Iranian American Communities (OIAC) has been in the forefront in expressing solidarity with other groups fostering gender equality for Iranian women.  This now becomes more important because of women’s prominent role in the recent nationwide uprising in Iran.

In January, we saw thousands of women in Iran taking to the streets to lead demonstrations for a free and democratic Iran. These women are demonstrating the capacity to command the attention of global leadership and the Iranian public. Willingly or unwittingly, they are echoing Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi’s call aimed at denouncing 4 decades of atrocities and suppressions against the women of Iran. Her boldness and persistence in addressing the international community into adopting effective steps targeted to bringing women discrimination and misogyny to an end in Iran has singled her out as a champion for justice.

Her remarkable contributions to the struggle against Islamic fascism through her leadership as President Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCR), is a model that Iranian women are embracing. It is her inner strength that has made it possible for her to influence the most senior global leaders in lending her their ears upon her calls to bringing humanity freedom, and in particular to Iran.  Last July, she positively implored the thoughts of more than 100,000 people who had gathered in Villepinte, France to show their solidarity for a free Iran.

Iranian Americans are also hearing her call being echoed in the streets of Iran – asking for the clerical dictators in Iran to step down. Women of Iran want a democratic alternative to medieval religious tyranny.  They are increasingly embracing the idea that although Western appeasement policies have delayed the downfall of Iranian regime, they will not alter its predatory nature.  Indeed, the cries of “down with the clerical regime” heard in140 cities of Iran this January vividly reminds us that the people of Iran want the ruling clerics to go.

Even though the barbarism Iran perpetuates requires a comprehensive international response, the people of Iran are the primary stakeholders.  It is evident that this problem can and must be addressed domestically, if a long-lasting solution is to be found.

This potential is now plainly in display in streets of Iran.  Iranian opposition’s strategy relies on this potential to replace the current regime democratically so that the ballot box can serve as the primary measure of legitimacy.  It bears mentioning here that free and internationally supervised election, as Mrs. Rajavi has consistently argued, is the only way to install a legitimate government that has the will to march towards restoring people’s freedom. In such a paradigm, fair and transparent elections would translate into a government voted in by the majority of people.

To the Iranian opposition and the Diaspora, social and economic issues that are now aggravating people’s lives in Iran are downstream effects of a corrupt and fundamentalist regime which has been spending the country’s wealth in support of terrorism and building nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles.  That is why the women of Iran are telling us that time for change is now.

The seemingly endless crises that Iranian regime creates have fostered loopholes for opportunist terrorists and other rebel activities like ISIS to exploit.  Recognizing this ominous influence, in the recent demonstrations in Iran, thousands of women and men were heard demanding: “Leave Syria and Gaza alone, address our grievances.”

It is clear that the Ayatollahs are incapable of listening to or enabling protester’s democratic desires. Therefore, if the global community were to be serious in stopping global expansion of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, it would immediately work to disband regime’s many precarious entities like the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).   Let us work together to make this is a reality.



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