Par Jila Kazerounian*
American Chronicle – June 12 marks the one year anniversary of Iranian women’s rally against the gender apartheid regime ruling their country. Thousands of women took to the streets of Tehran in a protest organized by several women’s groups to oppose the suppression and inequality under the theocratic rulers. They chanted: "women are human, but we don’t have any rights", "our demand: freedom and equal rights", and "regime of misogyny must end".
State Security forces attacked the demonstrators, beating, injuring and arresting tens of them. This ordeal was the beginning of another round of repression of women by Ahmadinejad and his hardliner cronies. Recently Tehrans regime has launched a severe crackdown of women "to promote virtue and combat vice". Women who do not observe full Islamic dress code are beaten and detained in the streets charged with mal-veiling. The scenes of these attacks by security forces are horrifying.
Amid widespread uprisings by university students, teachers and workers, the Islamic fundamentalist regime has once again started the campaign against women to send a message to the rest of the population and to assert its control. In the past 3 decades of clerical rule in Iran , women have proven that they will not submit to these dinosaurs. The system of gender apartheid will be brought down by the same people who are taking the brunt of their brutality: women. The dictators of Tehran have executed tens of thousands of them. They have raped virgin girl prisoners so that according to their twisted ideology they would not end up in heaven. They have tortured and maimed women political prisoners. But they have not been able to silence Iranian women.
The Resistance is growing. Women are leading the struggle for democracy and freedom in Iran . And there is a woman at the forefront of the resistance movement. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is the woman most feared by the Mullahs in Iran. She is leading the most organized opposition against the regime. As Mrs. Rajavi stated on the occasion of International Women’s Day in Paris : "Because they have been historically exploited and suppressed, women possess an enormous motivation and high perseverance in the struggle in order to make up for their lag. In the confrontation with the mullahs, we realized that women resemble a compressed spring that when released from the shackles of discrimination and faced with responsibility, they take giant leaps forward."
Tehrans Mullahs better watch out: Women of Iran have started the giant leaps forward.
Jila Kazerounian is the Executive Director of Women’s Forum against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI). http://www.wfafi.org/