By INU Staff
INU - On the fourth day of the Free Iran Conference in Ashraf 3 on Sunday, the Iranian Resistance organization, Peolple’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), held a seminar on women in the Iranian Resistance, where women’s rights activists discussed the struggle of Iranian women under the mullahs and expressed solidarity with Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi.
In this piece, we will discuss Maryam Rajavi’s keynote address.
Maryam Rajavi began by describing the status of Iranian women under the mullahs’ regime, noting that they have “no role in the ruling regime and in its decision-making at any level of its hierarchy”. This means that women’s voices are being ignored by the mullahs, which results in discriminatory laws being levied against them, affecting every realm of their lives from fewer job opportunities and lower wages to problems accessing medical services to having their legal testimony being worth only half of a man’s and so many more.
Maryam Rajavi said: “[This deprives] women of their personal and social freedoms and their right to free choice… Such discrimination in any society in any juncture in history would mean subjugation of the people, suppression, and plundering of political rights.”
Maryam Rajavi then spoke about the common claim that if the Regime was overthrown, Iran would experience chaos, arguing that Iranian women are currently suffering “poverty, unemployment and homelessness” in conditions that are worse than “war-torn countries”.
She also addressed that Iranian women “do not feel safe anywhere: not at work, not in the streets, and not at home”, because of the promotion of violence against women.
Maryam Rajavi then spoke about the “inhumane treatment of women in prison”, which is common practice in Iran and offered a salute to all of the Iranian political prisoners currently in the mullahs’ jails.
Maryam Rajavi said: “In addition to political opposition, they have committed the unforgivable crime: to be a rebellious woman. To be a woman and not surrender, to be a woman and persevere in the struggle, to be a woman and instead of thinking about yourself think about the liberation of people in chains, this is something that has driven the mullahs insane.”
Why is the situation for women in Iran so bad?
Maryam Rajavi said: “Misogyny is the driving force and the essence of the regime’s suppression of the society in general.”
What is the solution?
Maryam Rajavi said: “The common answer to all these problems, ranging from poverty and discrimination to lack of free choice, lies in freedom and equality. Not just equality and not just freedom. But both freedom and equality.”
She went on to talk about how the Iranian people have the right to overthrow the Regime, but so too do the Iranian women. The Iranian Resistance prioritises gender equality and many women have been elected to leading positions in their ranks, with plenty remaining in power for years.
Maryam Rajavi said: “I have always emphasized that women not only free themselves but free their societies at large.”