They demonstrated their wrath against the outdated claims of al-Sadr. International media outlets described Iraqi women’s demonstration as the greatest and first one of its kind in the history of this country. While women and girls were carrying posters of female martyrs of the months-long uprisings and chanting, “Our homeland! These are your daughters who have raised your flag [at the cost of] their blood!”
The organizing committee of the October Revolution admired the role of Iraqi women against the savage influence of the Iranian regime in a statement. “The roar of the honest women of Iraq has shocked the Iranian regime and its agents in Iraq,” the organizing committee stated.
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“Today’s move of Iraqi women under the banner of ‘daughters of the homeland’ will accelerate [other] protesters in continuation of their struggle for rightful demands. The [demonstration] displays the real value of women in society and their active role in taking back and rebuilding the homeland. Millions of women participants set a bright image of protests and the history will remember the importance of their attention in achieving victory and promoting the prosperity and welfare for Iraq’s society,” the committee added in its statement.
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The Iraqi women’s demonstration was held after al-Sadr’s made remarks about gender segregation in anti-government marches and rallies. Notably, since 1979, Iranian mullahs frequently insist on taking the women away from participation in political activities and bearing responsibilities about the political fate of the country. Under the pretext of “religious values,” Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini banned half of Iran’s population from taking an active role in the society’s development. He finally unveiled his medieval nature by raising the slogan “either the veil or the club,” and forced many female employees, nurses, college professors, judges, lawyers, actresses, etc. to quit their jobs. However, Iran’s female society had an essential role in the people’s struggle against the monarchic dictatorship.
Women’s Role in the Iranian People’s Struggle Against the Religious Fascism
From the beginning of Khomeini’s rule, Iranian women and girls who witnessed how the new dictatorship is going to restrict them initiated a resistance against fascism under the pretext of religion. The mullahs frankly annihilated all the people’s dream for freedom, justice, and equality and established an even crueler dictatorship than that of the Shah. They also institutionalized misogyny in their constitution and bluntly claimed that the testimony of each man is equal to the testimony of two women. Furthermore, Iranian women have been banned from many basic rights without the permission of their husbands or male caretaker!
However, Iranian women and girls never succumbed to these outdated concepts and joined the struggle against the entire regime. They hold essential responsibilities in the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Notably, MEK members’ presence in Iraq and their friendly ties with Iraq’s society for more than two decades taught Iraqi women that they should participate in the political scene and shoulder their responsibility. The inspiring role of women and especially female MEK members in the Iranian struggle against the religious dictatorship in Iran shouldn’t be forgotten. The regime’s officials time and again admitted to the role of women in organizing and leading the recent protests in November.
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