At the same time, the MEK, which has always been dedicated to improving human and women’s rights, has championed the role of women in the Resistance. Not only are they at the forefront of the MEK’s pro-democracy protests and uprisings, like the 2009 protests against the rigged election and the nationwide uprising in January 2018, women also hold high-ranking positions in the MEK.
Women’s rights advocate Dr. Maria Ryan wrote on The Hill on Thursday, September 12, in the aftermath of the self-immolation of a female soccer fan who expected to be jailed for attending a football match, that the Regime has targeted Iranian women with “repressive, misogynistic laws and execution”.
Ryan had previously addressed the annual Free Iran conference, organized by the MEK’s parent coalition the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in July. It was held at Ashraf 3, Albania, the new home of the MEK, who in 2016 escaped attacks in Iraq directed by the mullahs.
Ryan spoke during the “Women in the Iranian Resistance: Defying the Misogynist Regime, Paying the Price of Freedom” panel.
Of the event, Ryan wrote that she’d met so many brave MEK women who’d survived the brutal crackdown of the mullahs, who had suffered for years in torture chambers and lost loved ones.
She wrote: “[The MEK women] explained that, while living in Iran, they were not able to choose their own clothes or their professions; a girl as young as nine years old could be married, they said, and a man could have multiple wives. They were forced to leave Iran and were promised safety in camps inside Iraq, they recounted to me, only to be targeted by bombs and gunfire. Several of them said they lost many of their friends to these attacks.”
Ryan then addressed the massive problems facing Iranians, including poverty, which means that many are dulling the pain with drugs or selling their organs to make ends meet, as reported by the MEK. However, she said that the MEK women she’d met had “inspired” her with their “determination, loyalty, patriotism and faith”.
She said that the MEK, NCRI, their members, and the Iranian people just want the basic freedoms afforded to people in other parts of the world. That’s why the Resistance is prepared to serve as an interim government, for a period not to exceed six months when the Iranian people overthrow the mullahs. After holding a free and fair election, the Resistance will step down.
Ryan said: “Whether or not you believe that regime change in Iran is truly just around the corner, I am absolutely convinced that with such women in the ranks of the resistance, the change will come to Iran.”