MEK Iran: Maryam Rajavi, Message to the Virtual Conference in the UK on International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi spoke at a virtual conference to highlight the institutionalized gender discrimination in Iran, as well as the central role that female activists are playing in the effort to overthrow the Iranian regime.
The Virtual Conference in the UK
The conference was co-hosted by the Women’s Committee of the NCRI and was attended by Western lawmakers, human rights experts, the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran, and the British Committee for Iran Freedom.
Maryam Rajavi began her address by saying: “On behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance, I extend my warmest congratulations on International Women’s Day. And I salute all women who have fought and sacrificed for the cause of equality.”
The continuing struggle against the Coronavirus pandemic
She acknowledged how this year’s International Women’s Day has coincided with the continuing struggle against the Coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens, as well as coming soon after a significant uprising in the Sistan and Baluchistan province in Iran, which saw the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) executing dozens of protesters.
Maryam Rajavi said: “This year, International Women’s Day carries a commitment for Iranian women: Namely, that we can, and we must secure the victory of freedom and equality amid disease, oppression and poverty.”
The significant gender gap in Iran
She explained how the outcome of the significant gender gap in Iran is that women are the ones subject to poverty and are denied many of their most basic rights. More than 60,000 nurses working at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 last year became victims of the disease themselves. On the other side of society, families resort to forcing their young daughters into marriage because of poverty, with between 500,000 and 600,000 child brides annually.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Discrimination and barbaric oppression are indispensable to the mullahs’ worldview and policies.”
Oppression and suppression
Just last month, in Gorhardasht Prison, west of Tehran, during an en masse hanging, one of the women due to be executed, Zahra Esmaeeli, died from a heart attack after seeing 16 women hanged before her.
Despite the circumstances, it was reported that the prison guards still hung her body. Oppression and suppression are the only tools the regime has to preserve its rule; however, women are ever-increasingly playing critical roles in challenging the regime in order to eventually overthrow the mullahs.
Five nationwide uprisings
Maryam Rajavi said: “In five nationwide uprisings, Iranian women have demonstrated remarkable heroism and their qualifications in setting up resistance units and enjoying the pivotal role in the organized resistance movement. Iranian women have put the responsibility to end the catastrophe caused by the ruling theocracy on their shoulders and are prepared to make it happen.”
To close her speech, she called on all participants of the conference to urge their governments to only make economic and political ties with the regime conditionally upon the respect for human rights, as well as encouraging them to show their support for the women in Iran fighting for a better future.