by Navid Felker
On International Women’s Day, on March 8, is it important to look at the misogynistic treatment of women under the Iranian Regime and to listen to Iranian women when they call out for regime change.
Since day one of this regime, the mullahs have eradicated women’s rights and their role in society, even under the supposed reformist presidents like Hassan Rouhani. Supposed moderate President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani even laid out in a prayer sermon that men were smarter, braver, and less emotional than women.
The only way women can contribute to society under the clerical rule is through being obedient wives and good mothers, so the suppression of women is vital to the mullahs’ reign.
Exactly 40 years ago today, Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini imposed the forced veil on female employees, something implemented by Rouhani, and this sexist law soon spread outside of the workplace.
Over the years, this has become a visible sign of the struggle for gender equality, with women risking violence and arrest by the so-called morality police for daring to remove the hijab in public. This is perhaps best shown in the actions in the protest by the “Girls of Revolution Street” last year, a subsection of the nationwide anti-regime protest movement largely led by women.
And this just scratches the surface of the ways in which Iranian women are suppressed, but it all boils down to a lack of autonomy. Women are simply not permitted to make decisions about their own lives in any aspect from what job to take to whom to marry.
Obviously, women want to change this and they risk their lives to do so on a daily basis. Many are arrested, tortured, raped, and killed for advocating for their basic rights, but still, they fight on.
Many women joined the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the banned democratic opposition group, and quickly began filling leadership roles due to the MEK’s belief in equality and promoting the most qualified person regardless of gender. This was spurred by MEK leader Maryam Rajavi, who maintains that the Iranian people have the power to bring change and that means all the people.
Last year, at an International Women’s Day conference in Paris, Rajavi spoke up about women’s rights under the Regime, noting that Iranian women have been deprived of their rights twice as much as men.
That is why it makes sense for women to take the lead in bringing down the regime.