Iranian women are at the forefront of a new democratic revolution
On October 22, 1993, thirty-three years ago, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) announced the election of a woman, Maryam Rajavi, as its President-elect for the transitional period of transferring power to the people of Iran following the mullahs’ overthrow. As a result, the NCRI launched a strategic campaign to defeat the misogynist clerical regime, which used a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam to deny Iranian women their rights, marginalize them, and crack down on the entire society by imposing the mandatory Hijab.
During her tenure as President of the MEK, Maryam Rajavi transformed the organization by allowing women equal participation in leadership and decision-making. By the time she resigned from the MEK, the organization was led by an all-female leadership council, an entity that has since grown to become a Central Council with 1,000 female members.
Women are the force for change
The world then saw how, on the ground, Iranian women and girls played a key role in the protests that began in response to the Morality Police’s murder of Mahsa Amini, but quickly grew to become the longest-running nationwide uprising calling for regime change.
Iranian women’s struggle has deep roots
Mrs. Rajavi said to Iranian women and girls on September 30 in a speech, “The world has heard your voice and has seen that you have initiated and instigated the uprisings. You defied the Revolutionary Guards, the repressive forces, and their snipers. You were not intimidated by the enemy’s crackdown and terror, or by your lack of resources to defend yourself against the regime’s savage forces. And you launched attacks against the enemy with your bare hands.
“You are the culmination of four decades of Iranian women’s struggle, rebellion, and defiance for freedom and equality. Your current battles are a culmination of the sacrifices of tens of thousands of Mojahed women tortured or executed by this regime; yes, they sowed the seeds of your generation.”
“The mullahs’ regime has deprived women of their most essential and fundamental rights, including the freedom to choose their clothes,” she said in remarks to members of the US Congress on October 21. “Women, on the other hand, make no demands of the regime. Their primary demand is for regime change. They understand that in order to obtain their rights, they must overthrow the fundamentalist regime.”
In yet another speech to a rally in Luxembourg on October 17, Maryam Rajavi stated, “The goal is to bring down the regime of compulsory religion. As the NCRI announced 40 years ago, everyone should be free to choose their beliefs and religion based on the principle of separation of religion and state. And yes, we repeat: No to the compulsory veil, no to the compulsory religion, no to the compulsory regime.”