Women were a driving force for the 1979 revolution, but they were fighting for their rights, not for a religious tyranny to strip them of their most basic rights, which is what happened when Ruhollah Khomeini stole the revolution for his religious dictatorship.
For over forty years, Iranian women have been defying the mullahs’ dictatorship in various ways from the small, individual action, to the major, nationwide protests because no matter how many restrictions are put on the lives of women, it will not stop them fighting for freedom in Iran. Let’s look at a few of the bigger resistance actions now.
On June 20, 1981, Iranian women were among the 500,000 protesters on the streets on Teran, who were then shot at by the Revolutionary Guards or arrested and then executed en-mass, including girls as young as 16.
Protests continued across the next few years, but these soon grew into uprisings seen around the world.
In 1999, Iranian students, particularly women, launched an uprising against the mullahs with many arrested and student Fereshteh Alizadeh killed by the security forces.
In 2009, freedom loving women joined the uprising and many died, including Shabnam Sohrabi, Fahimeh Salahshour, Taraneh Moussavi, Maryam Soudbar, and Neda Agha Sultan
In December 2017 and January 2018, popular protests threatened to unseat the regime, with female students chanting, “Reformists, hardliners, the game is over!”, an indication that the regime has lost its legitimacy across all factions. Over 500 women were arrested and jailed for taking part.
In November 2019 and January 2020, protests broke out again across the country, with women’s special role in running and organising the protests being recognised by the regime and the media. Some 400 women were killed by the regime in the immediate crackdown on the November protests.
Maryam Rajavi, the President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) praised Iranian women for their involvement in a message where she said: “Women actively participate, leading and supporting the protesters. We had already said that women are the force for change and will defeat the mullahs’ reactionary and religious tyranny.”
The struggle for freedom, as led by Iranian women, has lessened in scale over the past 12 months because of the pandemic, but their spirit lives on and they will fight again soon.
The Iranian Resistance wrote: “The courageous women of Iran will carry on their struggle until they overthrow the mullahs’ misogynous theocracy in its entirety and bring freedom and equality to their country.”