08 Mar 2008

Women, the force for change

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Women, the force for change

I welcome you all and am delighted to meet with you experts, parliamentarians, and activists of women’s equality movement.

I particularly wish to extend my gratitude to Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, Vice President of the European Parliament, Mrs. Vidal Quadras and other personalities who, despite their many preoccupations, joined us today to express their solidarity with women in the Iranian Resistance.

Several days from now, the world will honor International Women’s Day. I congratulate my sisters all over the world, and women and girls in my homeland as well as the oppressed women in Iraq.

I also salute brave women who are suffering but struggling for the ideal of equality.

And we commend those pioneering women, each of whom took giant leaps toward advancing this ideal in their own era. From Olympe de Gouges, Louise Michel and Bertie Albrecht in France, to Dolores Ibarruri (Pasionaria) in Spain, Clara Zetkin in Germany, and Susan Anthony in the United States.

And also, such pioneering women in Iran as Fatemeh Amini, Marzieh Ahmadi Skouii, Ashraf Rajavi, and thousands of martyred Mojahedin women as well as Sedigheh Mojaveri and Neda Hassani.

Today, despite the many advances made by women’s equality movement, forces and institutions that are founded on exploitation around the world continue to fight against the ideal of equality and have challenged women’s rights and freedoms.

Religious fascism distinguished by its misogyny and export of terrorism, threatens to destroy global achievements, including equality for women.

To this end, on the International Women’s Day, we are looking towards, and fighting for, hope, bright horizons and the prospect of change and emancipation.

Through destruction, intimidation and terror, fundamentalism is raging everywhere. Its message: Forget about equality.

Appeasers who sacrifice human rights, peace and democracy by supporting the mullahs ask mockingly, “When there are business deals to be made, who needs equality?”

Nevertheless,

The love and faith of women, who believe in the ideal of equality around the world;
The courage of women and girls who partake in protests against religious dictatorship;
The perseverance of women who say no to the regime and are subsequently transferred to Evin prison;
And the steadfastness of Iran’s vanguard women who are leading the focal point of resistance against fundamentalism, namely Ashraf City;

Indeed, all of these tell us that a world devoid of oppression and inequality is possible.

I hear the cries of my daughters and sisters in various Iranian cities like Tabriz, Rasht, Tehran, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, Ahwaz, Isfahan, Kerman, Mashad, Zahedan and Bandar Abbas, who pledge to rise up to attain equality, freedom and democracy.

Dear Friends,

Today, the issue of women and the need for their active participation in all political, social and economic spheres has become the most urgent necessity for progress, democracy and peace.

Without women’s leadership role, the fight for freedom will not go forward.

Without the active and equal presence of women in leadership levels, democracy would be deficient and hollow.

And without women’s genuine participation, instead of economic development, the trend of poverty, inequality and squandering of material and human resources will continue.

Thus, it is essential to think about the subject of equality, figure out ways of removing its obstacles and a strategy for its advancement, while looking at some success stories and exemplary cases.

With this in mind, I would like to talk about an example which is rather novel in the history of Iran and Islam. I am referring to the three decades of women’s struggle within the ranks of the Iranian Resistance, which at its core witnessed the perseverance of the women-led Ashraf City.

Located in neighboring Iraq, about fifty kilometers from Iran’s border, Ashraf City is home to thousands of women and men who have spent 22 years of their lives struggling to establish democracy in their homeland. The one thousand women who currently reside in Ashraf City, in reality represent the world’s largest concentration of vanguards of the equality movement.

In the past 30 years, our movement has engaged in an all-out war with a religious fascism, which is based on gender apartheid. Although fundamentally reactionary and backwards, this monster employs the most modern technologies to suppress, control, intimidate, and terrorize people, essentially by exploiting religion. Such exploitation characterizes it as a new phenomenon in history.

Confronting this source of darkness and evil would have been an impossible undertaking, unless the essential building blocks of the resistance movement against it sheltered the most fundamental human values: Equality, liberty, freedom of choice and democracy.

Khomeini and the clique of mullahs supporting him deluded the Iranian people and usurped the leadership of the 1979 revolution with slogans and claims about Islam. Since the first day of their rule, they began to suppress the population, especially women, because they were terrified of freedom and democracy. Their intention was to erect a theocratic empire under the banner of Islam through the export of terrorism and war.

However, owing to the presence of a popular and organized opposition, which defended a tolerant and democratic Islam, the mullahs were quickly isolated. Now, more than ninety percent of the Iranian people are demanding regime change. The mullahs’ brutal suppression of the people and their current efforts to build nuclear weapons and dominate Iraq, far from being from a position of strength, are therefore designed to forestall the overthrow of a regime, which has reached the end of the line.

From the outset, the religious fundamentalists’ voracious single-mindedness could not tolerate a drop of ideological diversity, let alone the thought of a democratic Islam, the antithesis to fundamentalism, represented by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), the main component of the resistance to the regime.

Meanwhile, Mojahedin women took on an impressive role in confronting the mullahs since the very first days of the mullahs’ rule. Although they wore scarves themselves, Mojahedin women bravely withstood the repugnant mantra of “either the veil or a hit on the head.”

For a regime which ruled under the name of Islam, it was extremely difficult to tolerate that the Muslim Mojahedin, especially women and girls in their ranks, would be at the forefront of the opposition.

Mojahedin women paid a heavy price in the face-off with the mullahs. Tens of thousands of them endured dreadful imprisonment, horrific tortures and were executed.

Nonetheless, the struggle continued.

In a traditional society, subjugated by religious dictatorship, women had to overcome formidable obstacles in their struggle against this monster. In most cases, the first obstacle was women’s families and their parents. Women also had to forgo their education, husbands and children to join the ranks of the Resistance. There was no room for family life amid the struggle against a barbaric regime which does not even refrain from hanging children.

Moreover, contrary to men, women had to tolerate an assortment of innuendo, assaults and humiliation and gain the power to get over them.

Let me recount some of allegations levied against women at the time:

– “These women have left their parents and their brothers and sisters because they have no emotions or affection.”
– “Who says women can play any role or have any impact in the struggle against this regime?”
– “It would be better if women were to take care of their families and children. Otherwise who would look after a family in the woman’s absence?”
– “When women are arrested, imprisoned, and tortured, their families lose their dignity.”

However, despite all this, women’s widespread participation in the struggle against religious dictatorship brought with it a new culture in Iranian society. There were many parents and their sons and daughters who rushed to join the struggle against the mullahs and lost their lives in the process. This extensive participation in the Resistance is an indicator of definitive victory against religious fascism.

In the midst of all this, the mullahs’ propaganda machine, which surpassed even Goebbels in terms of its lies and deceptions, engaged in a sophisticated and demagogic campaign of slandering Mojahedin and politically active women to prevent them from joining or continuing the struggle. But their efforts failed in the face of women’s burning desire for equality and freedom. Mojahedin women stood their ground and proudly overcame difficult tests.

This was a glimpse of the story of how a long line of pioneering women was formed. A line that extends from Ashraf City, where a large number of these women currently reside, to Tehran, and from Evin prison to Gohardasht and Dizel-Abad prisons, to every corner of Iran.

In the three-decade-old struggle, the post-2003 period has been unprecedented in terms of its difficulty and complexity.

In the course of the US invasion of Iraq, the coalition forces heavily bombed PMOI centers in Iraq in order to appease the mullahs. This was despite the fact that the PMOI did not play any role in the war, did not fire a single bullet and had formally announced their neutrality.

Subsequently, the mullahs embarked on an extensive conspiracy to destroy the PMOI’s organizational structure. By taking advantage of an exceptional opportunity, the regime spared no ruse or assault to destroy the Resistance. Regrettably, ten other governments, including those of the UK and France, joined the mullahs in this endeavor.

At the time, everyone believed that the end for the PMOI and Ashraf City had come.

In the past five years, the mullahs have spared no effort in trying to breakdown Ashraf. Some of these actions include:

The deafening propaganda aimed at dismantling the Resistance; disseminating misinformation through dozens of television and radio stations as well as hundreds of newspapers, magazines and websites; a wave of terrorist attacks, including the abduction of PMOI members in Iraq, bombing buses carrying Iraqi workers to Ashraf City, assassinating Iraqis who support the PMOI, blowing up water pipelines and water pumping stations of Ashraf City, planning to launch missile attacks on Ashraf City, cutting off food, fuel and medicine to the City’s residents, and dispatching teams from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the terrorist Qods Force, which was stepped up in recent days as several such agents have gone to Baghdad from Iran and abroad.

All this is part of an unbridled campaign on the part of the religious fascism to hinder and pressure the Resistance movement. However, the perseverance of the Mojahedin in Ashraf City and the growth of the Resistance inside Iran as well as the efforts of members and sympathizers of the Resistance worldwide along with your support, have foiled the mullahs’ plots and conspiracies.

The Elberz Mountain symbolizes Iran’s beauty and pride. In Ashraf City, qualities such as fortitude, piety, selflessness, humanity, progressive and compassionate relationships, and a burning faith and love for freedom and equality, have been elevated to new heights and adorn Iranian history, society and the conscience of its people.

The perseverance of Ashraf City did not allow that the towering flames of the struggle for democracy and equality, inspirations for the struggle of Iranian women and men, to be extinguished.

I salute all of them, especially Mojgan Parsaii and Sedigheh Hosseini, and all the other women who are the symbols of liberation and determination.

This is how, beyond their perseverance, those in Ashraf succeeded in expanding the struggle against the mullahs and their fundamentalism.

Despite fatal errors committed by the West, which provided enormous opportunity to the mullah-inspired fundamentalism and terrorism, the Mojahedin in Ashraf City urged the world to confront the mullahs’ threats, terrorism and fundamentalism. Ashraf City played a crucial role in advancing the political process in Iraq. It succeeded in drawing the attention of Iraqis, nationalist and democratic parties, tribes and its diverse political, ethnic and religious groupings to the Iranian regime’s threats. In turn, Iraqis rose to support the Mojahedin and the residents of Ashraf. The support by 5.2 million Iraqis for the Mojahedin in 2006 and by 300,000 Shiites in southern Iraq in 2007 shaped a powerful social movement in solidarity with the Iranian Resistance. It helped form a vast democratic front against fundamentalism. 700,000 Iraqi women signed a petition in support of the PMOI and thus the organized campaign of women to challenge the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraq was formed.

As such, in the midst of the bloodiest and most sinister terrorist assaults by the mullahs and their agents, Ashraf became the land of peace, freedom and hope, both for the people of Iran and Iraq.

The five-year perseverance in Ashraf was also a triumphant test for the leadership of women.

I say to my sisters and daughters across Iran to look to the perseverance of women in Ashraf and break the spell of hopelessness, intimidation, humiliation and the impoverishing of women cast by the mullahs. Look to Ashraf and destroy misogyny and discrimination. Unite and rise up to bring down the mullahs.

And I say to my sisters all over the world to rise in support of the women in Ashraf and support them as they represent the blossoming of the epic historical struggle for women’s equality.

Women, the force for change

Dear Friends,

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, I would like to explain in passing how Ashraf’s perseverance came about under the leadership of women. What contributed to its making, and what is its origin?

I must say that this perseverance has come about in the course of an unrelenting struggle for equality. In other words, it is the outcome of a continuous demarcation between equality and inequality; a demarcation between a liberated and an enchained human being.

Resolving human kind’s insolvable challenges is impossible without a commitment to equality. This finding was the outcome of years of struggle against the mullahs’ misogynistic regime, and was matured into a profound cultural transformation in the ranks of the PMOI in the 1980s.

The Resistance’s leader Massoud Rajavi described this transformation as one opposed to the world of the mullahs and reactionaries and stated that its aim was to “cast aside gender-based exploitation, symbolized by the mullahs and their Revolutionary Guards.”

This thinking opened the path for women’s struggle for equality as never before. The Mojahedin made the important discovery that if they were committed to standing up to religious dictatorship, they would have to struggle against all the ideological and cultural hallmarks of the fundamentalists.

In a nutshell, we realized that the eradication of gender-driven thinking releases tremendous energy within the ranks of the Resistance movement and generates an astounding dynamism for leaping forward, which is the source of its capabilities.

This transformation brought with it an invaluable set of human experiences. For brevity’s sake, I will only refer to four important constitutive elements for this transformation.

The first was the active participation of women in the leadership of the Resistance and different levels of decision-making positions. Women’s long-standing struggle formed the basis for this development, but the point of departure was the dire necessity to overthrow the mullahs. The martyrdom of thousands of Mojahedin women in the struggle against the ruling theocracy in the first half of the 1980s testified to the fact that these very women deserve to be the leaders and without them the Resistance movement would have no way forward.

Of course, around the world today we witness efforts aimed at increasing women’s role in the management of political and economic affairs, which in its own right is a valuable development. But, the experience of the Iranian Resistance is that the final and definitive solution for breaking the spell of inequality is not possible without a leap. Women’s hegemony in this movement, a development which caused foundational transformations, opened the way for women to accept responsibilities, gain expertise and improve their capabilities in all fields. The presence of women in leadership has been a factor for both the longevity and the dynamism of political and cultural blossoming in this movement.

When women assumed leadership positions, they created a real framework for a profound struggle against the remnants of the male-dominated culture in the thinking and relationships of the movement as a whole, men and women alike, and cleansed the ranks of the Resistance.

Another important development was that a large number of women and men in the ranks of the Resistance decided voluntarily two decades ago to forgo family life and terminated their marriages, concentrating their energy, power, affection and attention toward the struggle against religious fascism and attaining freedom and equality.

The requirement of a full-time struggle to realize the ideal of liberating one’s homeland was to forsake the comfort and tranquility of family life and its attachments. Otherwise, women could not have obtained the opportunity to be present at the very heart of a formidable battle, let alone assuming any leadership responsibility.

I must also add that prior to this decision; members of the Resistance had families in different locations in Iraq. Their children studied in kindergartens and schools set up in Ashraf City. Family life was not an impediment to active participation in the Resistance. But, from early 1990s the security situation in Iraq deteriorated to the detriment of the PMOI’s presence in that country. Iraq became a country afflicted with a war and the PMOI was the target of continuous bombing and terrorist plots. For this reason, it was impossible for the families to get together in Ashraf City and other PMOI centers in Iraq. The PMOI had two choices: Either abandoning full-time struggle and departing from the scene, or sacrificing everything to keep the flame of the Resistance burning.

In truth, members of the Resistance elevated the sacrifice to free their people to a new level, one that was higher than giving up their lives, namely, forsaking family attachments. And, this was an imperative for the continuation of the struggle.

The third transformation was a new level of democratic relationships in the ranks of the Resistance.

By virtue of the significant strides it has made in terms of equality, this movement has nurtured the appropriate foundational framework for the development and promotion of democratic values. This framework provides the conditions for honest and sincere bonds, constructive criticism, and introduction and assessment of various points of view. If people are drawn together for the attainment of the common goal of liberty, then their internal web of relations would necessarily have to be based upon principles of democracy and freedom of choice.

The establishment of such a framework in the midst of a thorny and adverse struggle with a formidable enemy is no easy task. However, the Resistance has remained committed to it in all circumstances. Moreover, for a movement experiencing the brunt of some of the most merciless forms of oppression, it would be a dire need to develop strong bonds within itself and among its members, so that each and every individual would choose to shoulder a part of the responsibilities. The prerequisite for this is the existence of internal freedom and democracy.

The Resistance has responded to these imperatives by forming new humanistic relations. These can be seen, for example, in the numerous and constant meetings generally held among members of a certain department or those who work closely together. In addition to the meetings and gatherings organized for coordination of activities or political discussions, there are also meetings in which reciprocal constructive criticisms can be voiced.

And, finally, the fourth transformation has been with regards to the education and development of men committed to the ideal of equality. Through a profoundly deep cultural transformation, these men rid their thoughts and behavior of a backward culture which views women as mere commodities.

By holding regular meetings, these men have tried, and continue to try, to wage a cultural and ideological battle against this corrupt attitude towards women. Instead, both in theory and also in experience they try to put into practice the view of considering men and women as equal human beings.

Free of a chauvinistic mindset, they attempt to see the positive attributes of every woman as their equal. They, therefore, strive to recognize and discover women as independent, equal, free, and liberated human beings.

Subsequent to this cultural struggle, these men step into a higher realm of belief in equality, the realm of activity and practically performing responsibilities. This means that the Resistance’s male membership discovers that in the absence of equality, half of the energy and creativity would be eliminated. Therefore, in contexts where the exercise of expertise and practical skills predominates, they refuse to judge women by old yard sticks. This is because they know that in the realm of work and responsibility, these women engender new and modern methods and values, which if recognized and learnt well by men, would also cultivate a world of creativity, dynamism, capability, and commitment on the part of the men themselves. The Resistance’s male members develop a novel attitude through which they can witness the women’s strengths and capabilities.

Please allow me to talk about the effects that the advances of this Resistance movement has had on the suppressed society in Iran, and how the mullahs have reacted.

The women’s steadfastness in the face of the reactionaries and the religious dictatorship as well as the courageous initiatives of the Resistance’s members, especially women members, who let go of family life, profoundly resonated with a suppressed society where women have even been deprived of the right to divorce. More than ever before, this historic step placed women at the forefront of the movement against the mullahs’ oppression.

As well, the rise of women to the Resistance’s leadership transmitted positive and lively spirit and energy to the Iranian society, and completely falsified the mullahs’ deceptions about women being second-class citizens.

It is also clear that in a situation where the mullahs’ Supreme Leader allows his Revolutionary Guards to rape and violate women’s rights, the sincerity and purity of this movement’s men and their constant struggle to refrain from seeing women as commodities, has had a liberating effect in Iranian society.

This transformation frightened the mullahs. They screamed that the Quran and Islam had been trampled upon. They said that when a woman decides for herself to get a divorce, the heavens will tremble. And, truly, the chauvinistic structure of the mullahs’ system does tremble, when it comes face-to-face with independent women, who choose not to put their destiny and will at the whims of the mullahs’ regime.

In reality, this is how the antithesis to the religious fascism functions. It glimmers through the cultural conflict between the men and women of this Resistance on the one hand, and the corrupt forces of the regime on the other.

Thus, the mullahs resorted to a vilifying campaign. It would not be an exaggeration to say that during this period, the mullahs have published hundreds of books and tens of thousands of materials in different languages against this Resistance in media outlets. These publications levy false accusations against the activists of this movement. In fact, this is a leverage used by a religious fascism which has been brought to its knees by the Iranian Resistance. After more than 120,000 executions, after numerous Scud-B missile attacks, including 77 missiles which in one night targeted the PMOI’s centers in Iraq, and after hundreds of terrorist operations in various countries around the world against members of this movement, the religious fascism has undertaken a demonizing campaign against this Resistance. It fuels this campaign with astronomical funding stimulated by Iran’s oil revenues, and utilizes several of its ministries and buys foreign lobbyists for this purpose.

Two days ago, a court in Paris witnessed a scene of disgrace for one of the mullahs’ intelligence operatives, whose assignment was to demonize the Iranian Resistance in France. In that court, documents were presented which showed that the mullahs’ embassy in Paris and its Foreign and Intelligence ministries were the organizers and coordinators of this demonizing campaign. One of the witnesses who had come to support this operative inevitably confessed that the mullahs attribute their own execution, torture and terrorism to the PMOI.

Credible evidence presented in that court about a book which was published at the request of the mullahs against the Iranian Resistance, demonstrated that this book was full of lies and fabrications.

It is worth noting that in this campaign the mullahs levy allegations against the PMOI such as the following: Terrorism, being a sect, lack of democratic relations, taking advantage of women, lack of freedom to enter or exit the Resistance, etc. Of course, as I said, the mullahs take these steps to counter the cultural and humanitarian influences of the Resistance in Iran, as well as to counter the Resistance’s actions internationally.

Meanwhile, these made-up allegations by the mullahs have unfortunately been utilized by Western governments to justify the continuation of the policy of appeasement vis-à-vis the mullahs.

But, to the misogynistic regime and its turbaned rulers who see women as the weak, we say that your era has come to an end. The triumphant steadfastness exhibited by Iranian women signals the inevitable overthrow of your decadent regime. The Iranian people, and especially the forty-million women in Iran, sense the message of this steadfastness in their hearts and souls. Women of Iran will defeat the ruling fundamentalist regime.

Now, you [the regime] can make false allegations and accusations about Iranian women. You can beat them and imprison them, torture and hang them, and harass them mentally and physically every day on the streets with the travesty of so-called “fighting social vice.” But, you will be set aside and eliminated from the pages of history by these women.

Please also allow me to add that the mullahs’ claims about women being incapable of making choices, slaves, without rights, and second-class citizens, have nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. During the first years of Islam’s introduction, Prophet Mohammad recognized and permitted women defying their masters, husbands, or fathers, in joining the movement. He encouraged them to emigrate and leave their tribes and families. He also permitted women to join wars against the enemies, without there being any need for the women to seek permission from their husbands or family members. He gave them the right to ownership, inheritance, and vote. He respected their independent political choices. All this was done 14 centuries ago, when girls were being buried alive.

Yes, against the mullahs, the PMOI is committed to following an Islam, which rejects discrimination on the basis of gender, and as the Quran has explicitly said, considers the liberation of human beings as the highest and most significant principle.

Verse 13 of Sura (Chapter) Hujorat (Apartments) in the Quran, states: “O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous.”

Yes, the mullahs only exploit the name of Islam for the benefit of their fascist and evil regime. What place do stoning, rape, and discriminating against women occupy in Islam and Prophet Mohammad’s path?

If Islam’s true message is to be taken to heart, then it is gender apartheid, misogyny, and the aggressive chauvinistic attitude that are against Islam, are prohibited and impure, and not equality and women’s independent character.

Dear Friends,

The PMOI members in Ashraf City are the historical, ideological, and political answer to the velayat-e faqih regime. They represent a democratic Islam, which bears the message of mercy and tolerance. And in the face of the reactionary mindset, violence, and misogyny which the fundamentalists champion in the name of Islam, they are the only answer.

The women of Ashraf City, are worthy of the most active and passionate support from their sisters around the world. Just as thousands of courageous men also remain steadfast on their side, and freedom-loving men committed to the ideal of equality from around the world have formed an extensive web of support around these men. We salute them all. Specifically, I want to here commend those respectable personalities who have opposed the policy of appeasement.

Please allow me to remind you that the Iranian people’s struggle to obtain democracy, and the Iranian women’s fight to eliminate gender apartheid, has faced a massive barrier on its path in the international arena, and that barrier is the policy of appeasement towards the mullahs. Since the religious fascism enjoys the vast oil wealth, and since it coerces everyone by its unbridled terrorism, Western governments prefer to deal with it. Of course, this is done at the expense of trampling upon the Iranian people’s interests and the interests of their own people.

For this reason, they unjustly included the PMOI, the main component of the Iranian opposition in the list of terrorist groups. In December 2006, the Court of First Instance of the European Communities and in November 2007, a British Court handed down judgments which annulled the terrorist label against the PMOI. However, the EU Council of Ministers and the UK government infringed law and justice and refused to implement these verdicts. They continue to side with the mullahs’ regime, which according to the latest revelation by the Iranian Resistance is rapidly working to complete nuclear warheads and has threatened the future of mankind.

If despotism, violation of human rights, discrimination, suppression of freedom of opinion, and exploitation are condemned in today’s world as values that must be rejected, then tying the hands and legs of a legitimate resistance movement and preventing democratic change in Iran, must be loudly condemned, and the defenders of freedom and equality must rise up to struggle against it. The women movement for equality, which has always been a progressive movement and at the frontlines for liberating human societies, is today worthy of leading the conflict against religious fundamentalism.

Dear Friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,

We are committed to replace the religious fascism with a secular republic in Iran; a democratic and pluralistic government based on respect for human rights.

Accordingly, please allow me to briefly share with you the Resistance’s platform with regards to women in a democratic Iran after the overthrow of the mullahs.

1. In tomorrow’s Iran all individual freedoms for women must be recognized, including freedom of belief and religion, employment and travel;
2. Women and all citizens are free to choose their clothing;
3. We believe in completely equal social, political, cultural and economic rights between women and men. Women must have equal participation in society’s political leadership;
4. Women are completely free in choosing their spouse and in marriage;
5. Women’s equal rights to divorce will be recognized;
6. Polygamy in banned;
7. Physical, sexual and psychological violence against women in the workplace, in educational centers, in the family and everywhere else will be considered a crime. Women subject to such violence will have access to legal recourse;
8. Any sexual exploitation of women under whatever pretext is prohibited;
9. The Sharia laws and the mullahs’ religious edicts will have no place in tomorrow’s Iran. These reactionary laws, including inhuman punishments such as stoning, are contrary to the principles of pristine Islam and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammed. As far as we are concerned, only those laws will have legal legitimacy that have been enacted by the people’s elected representatives;
10. International covenants concerning the rights and freedom of women, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, will serve as the guidelines for enacting civil codes;

In the name of the equality movement, to save the women of my country who are ruthlessly flogged, hanged, and stoned, to confront the fundamentalist monster whose malevolence shadows over all the people of the Middle East region and specially women, and for a more just world which is possible through equality, I kindly appeal for your help, and invite you to stand against the policy of appeasement towards the mullahs and instead support the Iranian Resistance which struggles to overthrow the religious fascism in Iran.

And allow me to tell my sisters and daughters in Iran, the courageous women who at this very moment are imprisoned or undergoing torture, and the young girls whose hearts beat for freedom, that your resoluteness through difficult, tearful, and bloody times, your broken but unyielding hearts, would without a doubt herald a magnificent future for Iran. You will bring down the religious fascism and the future and destiny are in your hands. You will triumph.

I thank each and every one of you.

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

The President-elect of the NCRI for the period to transfer sovereignty to the people of Iran

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