by Mahmood Hakamian
Yesterday, we covered the top ten areas that Maryam Rajavi and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) would like to improve for women from additional rights in the workplace to the right to marry freely.
Now, we shall expand on one of those areas in great detail; the role of women in the political sphere.
In yesterday’s piece, we outlined that Maryam Rajavi believes that women should be allowed to participate equally in political leadership, which would mean helping to formulate and implement government policy, holding public office, and being able to perform all public functions at all levels of government.
But why does Maryam Rajavi think that equal political participation is important?
There are centuries of evidence that leaving politics to men often ends up with sexist laws designed to undermine or intimidate women, therefore women need equal representation in the political sphere. Maryam Rajavi believes that equal participation in politics is important because women are just as capable as men and women make up half the population.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Our experience made it palpably clear that defeating the curse of inequality is impossible without first taking a leap; leadership responsibilities must be given to the most competent women without the slightest degree of anxiety. Women's hegemony in the Iranian Resistance, as a paradigm-shifting transformation, paved the way for women to take on responsibilities in all fields.”
Even in many social justice movements around the world, women do a lot of the grunt work, without getting credit. This needs to stop. Women should get credit for their work in the political sphere, and Maryam Rajavi believes that it is important to give it to them. She cites that women ran the affairs of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
How Maryam Rajavi would ensure equal participation of women
In yesterday’s piece, we revealed that in order to fulfil that goal Maryam Rajavi would:
• repeal any laws that prohibited or limited women’s participation in the government and the judiciary
• introduce laws to ensure that at least half of senior government positions would need to be filled by women and that at least half of the candidates for election from any political party were female.
How do we know that this system will work?
The NCRI, of which Maryam Rajavi is president-elect, already has this system in place for their government in exile. They find that it promotes gender equality across all sectors and they find that it is incredibly beneficial for the women who put their all into their positions.
Maryam Rajavi wrote: “As a result of this campaign, women succeeded in adopting noble values and rose above a decadent and reactionary culture. As a first accomplishment, they came to believe in themselves and their capabilities. And when they discovered how necessary their responsible roles are in the advancement of the struggle against the religious tyranny, they decided to leave the world of irresponsibility and passivity, where a women’s self-identity is reliant on others. Instead they stepped into a world of responsible women who in fact lead a struggle with all its potential consequences.”
It not only gave the women renewed strength and belief that they were an important part of the Iranian Resistance as individuals, but it also changed the way women felt about each other. Women are working together, supporting each other, and taking on the seemingly impossible as a group.
Why? Because they don’t see each other as rivals for important positions, but rather acknowledge that any progress made by any woman in the movement will encourage, inspire, and benefit all women.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Each woman in the Resistance has come to the realization that by cooperating with and supporting her colleagues, she would actually be empowering herself. In this path, they have attained an incredible ability to make sacrifices for their sisters.”
Why is equal participation necessary to the Resistance?
Maryam Rajavi believes that if a democracy is not built on the foundations of gender equality, equal participation, free choice, and free speech, then it is not truly a democracy. Therefore equality is essential to the Iranian Resistance.
Maryam Rajavi said: “When you target sexism, you are actually attempting to shatter the cornerstone of the velayat-e faqih system (absolute clerical rule). When you target the mullahs' misogyny, you are in fact aiming at the heart of their ideology. “