Statement by a Group of Iranian Women Activists on the Occasion of March 8
There Can Be No Freedom Without Equality
Tuesday 8 March 2011
Committee for Human Rights Reporters: In anticipation of 8 March, International Women’s Day, a group of Iranian women’s rights defenders have issued a statement reiterating their resolve in fighting for their equal rights and have declared Tuesady 8 March as a day of protest. For their safety, the name of signatories inside Iran will not be made public. The statement reads as follows:
There Can Be No Freedom Without Equality
March 8 is International Women’s Day; our ‘Day’ in the name of equality and freedom. This year, March 8 coincides with one of the first Tuesdays selected as ‘Protest Tuesdays’ by the Green Movement in Iran. Yet, it is another March 8 for us women who face the most brutal and unjust violence by the police and security agents every year on this day, for the mere mentioning of the most basic human rights of women.
Unlike in some other countries, in Iran, March 8 is not a day to celebrate women, to send them flowers and join them in joyful celebrations. Rather, it is a day of peril filled with intimidation, threats and violence. It’s a day to protest.
For years we have heralded the message of March 8, shouting or whispering, in the backrooms of our homes, on the corners of city-parks, behind closed doors of an auditorium, and eventually, in more visible public spaces and in the streets. We have said ‘No’ to discrimination and we are paying a high price.
We have not just gained experience in fighting against discriminatory laws which remain unchanged. Rather, we have penned a history in which obedience and silence are no longer considered values ; a history which teaches its new generation resistance against violence and teaches women and men to say ‘No’ in the face of oppression and cruelty; this is a history where every page is an on-going and tireless struggle for a better life.
We, a group of activists of the Iranian Women’s Rights Movement, stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the women and men whose voices flow in the streets of our cities, and in-line with Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate’s statement, repeat the warning: lest the outbreak of political episodes of the day push our ever-justified demand for “equal rights” to the shadows of oblivion!
So, on this day, alongside our brothers we fill the streets and support the collective demand because we believe “equal rights can never be realized without a democratic government.”
We stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon… who like us are singing the song of gender equality today. We stand:
As one unified voice with our sisters whose protest, even on International Women’s Day, is silenced with brut force;
As one unified soul with the women paying the high price of freedom with every minute of their lives behind bars;
In solidarity with bereaved mothers who have lost their children in the path to freedom;
On behalf of the women and girls who have lost their lives for saying ‘No’ to cruelty;
With empathy for women and girls who have no legal protection against patriarchal prejudices that lead to honour-killings and, As the voice of silent women who are victims of violence, we will make the streets our own and we know our equality-seeking brothers will stand in solidarity with us.
Freedom and elimination of all kinds of discrimination be it in the law, tradition or culture, has been our demand all along. Many of our sisters and brothers are in jail because of their thoughts and beliefs. Freedom of all prisoners of conscience has been one of our demands all along. We believe that no law can secure justice and democracy unless it embraces equal rights in its every article. For this, changing the discriminatory laws is our starting point towards democracy, gender equality and civil rights for all people in our country.
Until that day, every 8th of March will be our day of protest.
Women’s rights activists:
Abasgholizadeh Mahboobeh, Abdi Ali, Abghari Shahla, Afghahi Bahareh, Afzali Nasrin, Ahari Maryam, Akhavan Asal, Alamdari Kazem, Amini Asieh, Ardalan Parvin, Azad Ayandeh, Azad Solmaz, Azima Nazi, Azizi Pooya, Bahrami Golaleh, Bakhshizadeh Marziyeh, Bandari Roja, Baradaran Monireh, Beheshti Nika, Darabi Hanah, Davachi Azadeh, Ebrahimi Pegah, Fakhrabadi Sadigheh, Farahani Fereshteh, Farhangkhah Fatemeh, Farokhnia Soudi, Fereshteh Ghaz, Ghahraman Baharak, Ghahreman Saghi, Ghajar Aida, Ghazian Hossein, Gheytanchi Elham, Golanbar Jila, Goosman Farideh, Haghighatjoo Fatemeh, Hamidi Hamid, Heydari Ebrahim, Hoseini Nahid, Hoseini Pajoh Arash, Hoseizadeh Mahboubeh, Hosseinkhah Maryam, Jafari Mehri, Jamali Banafsheh, Kar Mehrangiz, Kamali Shaghayegh, Karimi Reza, Kashefi Roya, Kazemi Monireh, Kheyrkhah Akram, Koohi Omid, Mahbaz Effat, Malek Pour Elham, Mehrani Behnaz, Moghaddam Rezvan, Moghaddam Khadijeh, Mohammadi Farahnaz, Najafi Sabri, Nezami Hamideh, Nojo Shiva, Nouri Ala Parto, Ommi Maryam, Pourheydar Saeid, Rad Soudeh, Rahimi Nariman, Ramezanzadeh Firoozeh, Rashidi Amir, Rasti Mahshid, Fatemeh Rezaei, Saadat Aida, Sadr Shadi, Salehi Radin, Sammak Nejad Negar, Saremi Mahsa, Sehat Leila, Sepehri Far Tara, Servati Mojgan,shekarloo Mahsa, Shafiee Roohi, Sharghi Bahareh, Sheykhi Shahabeddin, Shojaee Mansoureh, Tajrobehkaar Khosro, Tavakoli Sarah, Tohidi Nayereh, Toosi Fereshteh, Yousefzadeh Sepideh, Zarkish Fathiyeh
Abadi Rashin, Abasi Ali, Abasi Nasim, Adibi Hooshfar, Aeen Shohreh, Afshari Ali, Aghnianejad Somayeh, Ahmadi Reza, Ahmadi Rezvan, Ahmadian Alireza, Akbari Rad Masoud, Alamdari Kazem, Amani Kian, Aminian Ali, Amirhasani Sharareh, Amngostar Ramin, Andaryari Ahmad, Anvari Jamshid, Arabzadeh Hejazi Hasan, Arbabi Mohammad, Ardakani Hossein, Astaraki Roshanak, Atefi Sepehr, Azadi Arezoo, Azari Araz, Azimi Arash, Azimi Babak, Babakhani Nora, Bagheri Marziyeh, Bagheri Nahid, Bagheri Nahid, Baghian Ali, Bahadoran Maryam, Bamdadan Mazdak, Bamiri Jamshid, Bayez Afroozi, Behboodi Mohamad, Behkam Negin, Beygloo Ahmad, Biabani Reza, Daftari Farhad, Daneshvar Majid, Ebrahimi Nasrin, Elyasi Safoora, Elyasi Setareh, Erdebilchi Mansour, Esmaeil Bahman, Esmaeilbeygi Bahram, Esmaeili Saeid, Fahim Hayedeh, Fakhrabadi Sedigheh, Farhang Azadeh, Farid Ashkan, Farokh Neda, Faryabi Farshid, Fazel Manouchehr, Fazel Mohamad, Firoozi Nader, Fotohiyeh pour Payam, Ghanbari Aliakbar, Ghlichi Pour Shirin, Ghodsi Hossein, Gholizadeh Behrooz, Goghtay Saadat, Goharzad Reza, Golestani Syed Meysam, Goodarzi Kouhyar, Hafezi Arash, Hirbod Azadeh, Hirbod Parvin, Imani Parastoo, Irani Arash, Irani Asma, Irani Atefeh, Irani Azadeh, Irani Samaneh, Irani Sogol, Izadi Maryam, Izanlou Maryam, Jafari Arash, Jafarian Fatemeh, Jafarian Reza, Jalalifar Saeid, Kalaee Ali, Kalantari Mina, Kalhori Shahin, Kazemi Alireza, Kazemi Asiyeh, Kazemi Leila, Kheirkhah Akram, Khorrami Mahnaz, Koohi Akbar, Kourosh Lee, Mahboobi Mina, Mahmoudi Touraj, Malek Mahboubeh, Mani Bahareh, Marashi Manijeh, Mashoof Ahmad, Mashoof Anousheh, Mashoof Nima, Masiha Golta, Mehrani Behzad, Mehrvan Reza, Mehtari Ebrahim, Miran Beyk Aysan, Mirazjani Sonia, Mohamadi Azar, Mohamadi Farshad, Mohamadi Rozhin, Mohamadi Shahriar, Mohebi Mahboubeh, Mohseni Mohamad, Monfared Ashkan, Moshfeghi Marmar, Motaghi Somayeh, Mousavi Farideh, Nahavandi Shiva, Nami Zoya, Navaeian Davood, Nayeb Hashem Hasan, Nayeri Mohamad, Hossein, Nazari Nima, Nazemi Touran, Nazerieh Ahmad, Nik Khakian Faezeh, Nilforooshan Yasaman, Nima Bardia, Noori Behrooz, Norooz Zadeh Sasan, Parhizkari Bahareh, Parsa Kourosh, Pirzadeh Bijan, Pourabedin Soheila, Pouraghaee Sepideh, Rafiei Saeid, Rahimi Saloomeh, Rahmani Saeid, Ranjbar Afshar Vahid, Rezaee Fatemeh, Rezaee Hamed, Rezaee Vahid, Roohi Farhad, Roomi Ebrahim, S.Irani Roya, Saadati Leila, Saadati Mohamad, Sabetian Mehrafain, Sabri Yalda, Safaei Hamid, Safi Mahmoud, Sahraei Roya, Salimi Neda, Sam Masoud, Sanati Mahdokht, Sar behnam, Saremi Mahsa, Sasani Ardeshir, Sedghi Farhad, Sedigh Pour Sofia, Seifa Azad, Seyrafi Maziar, Shad Raha, Shadab Irandokht, Shafiei Bahram, Sharafi Ehsan, Shilandari Farah, Shirzad Mohamad, Shokraei Elaheh, Sima Salman, Sotoudeh Khorsand, Souri Roohollah, Taghavi Shiva, Taran Zahra, Tehrani Shahram, Tavaf Mohamad Javad,Torabi Nadia, Vahid Ali, Vahidmanesh Parvaneh, Vesal Ebrahim, Yasaei Farshid, Yazdani Gloria, Yazdi Farideh, Yousefi Mitra, Zaer Sarah, Zafari Shaghayegh, Zakeri Somayeh, Zarezadeh Ardeshir