Iranian Women Activists Speak Up About Their Rights

by Intern Stephanie G

Ever since the 2009 presidential election in Iran was tainted by accusations of fraud, the country has been overwhelmed with protests and violence. Recently, opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi issued a statement declaring what solutions he thought would remedy the current crisis. Many female activists felt that his demands, as well as other opposition leaders, did not address the discrimination women face on a daily basis. In response, they issued a statement of their own.

The women asked for “annulment of all discriminatory and anti-women laws, recognition of women’s right to their body and mind, ending violence against women, and prosecution of all perpetrators of the crimes committed in the past thirty years”. The current crisis, they feel, is largely due to the lack of justice for the nation’s women. In this sense, they feel that no solution will truly work unless women’s rights are taken into account. Their demands include “freedom of thought, speech, and assembly” as well as “the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners”. During recent protests, many female activists have been treated violently and imprisoned.

The government has yet to respond to any of these demands. We can only hope that they will take a step back and give an honest look at how deplorable their treatment of women has been.

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