In a recent editorial, the Revolutionary Guards newspaper wrote: “The distinctive role of women in inspiring the youth to attack the women-led Basij centers has been very similar to the activities of women involved with MEK.”
The state news website “Khabar-e- Fori” wrote about the uprising of Iranian people at the same time: ” A question that may be asked is why women have been so central to this turmoil. The most reasonable answer to this question might be the noticeable presence of women which has been playing an important role in stimulating the feelings and emotions of the public.”
This state website also wrote: “Women 30-35 years of age have a leading role in managing the riots.”
In the upspring of 2017 it was a woman who cried “Down with Khamenei” in the face of the heavily armed police guards. (Video available in social media.)
The fundamentalism Ideology of the Islamic Regime is based on being against women. They attacked the anti-mandatory Hijab demonstrations held by women from the first days of the regime’s appearance and many female judges lost their jobs afterwards. Women cannot be a president in Islamic regime of Iran and there is no female secretary in the president Rohanis’s cabinet.
In prisons of Iran, the virgin girls were getting raped under Khomeyni’s decree before getting executed or their blood was taking out for the benefit of Guardians of the Revolution.
Ferocious tortures were applied in the prisons against women. Tortures like keeping them in a cage for weeks or months which was unbelievable.
Unemployment is a big problem between educated women of Iran and self-immolation is a new phenomenon in the Iranian society which is all because of the existing unprecedented suppression and discrimination. The regime has made 21 organizations just for executing the Hijab rules. The disturbing videos about government agents beating the women in the streets because of having an unacceptable Hijab is the best evidence of this pressure on women.
On one hand, the regime of Iran uses this savage suppression about Hijab to reach to its own needs of being against the women. On the other hand, it tries to control the society by this mechanism.
This is the exact reason that women are standing in the front lines of the fight against fundamentalism of this unique savagery of the regime’s agents. The Islamic fundamentalists have primarily targeted women out of everyone else and other social groups, and women are who have the most urgency than any other group to change the regime.
For this particular reason, the leadership of the opposition movement in Iran for a democratic change is in the hands of a woman. This is the reaction of the society, the history of Iran and the geographic region of this country to the fundamentalism of Iranian regime.
Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the opposition of Iran, has been able to attract the support of many Iranian youth and women by introducing her 10 Article Program which announces the separation of religion from politics and emphasizes on freedom of outfit and stands against women’s discrimination. Maryam Rajavi got so much attention especially after the 2017 upspring in Iran that the regime believed she held the pulse of the streets in her hands during the demonstrations.
Because of the objection of women to discrimination and suppression as a result of the ideology of the current Iranian regime, we can believe that this upspring with all of it’s ups and downs won’t stop until it reaches its destination. And this destination would be a free society without discrimination against women.
*Hamid Enayat is an Iranian human rights activist and analyst based in Europe.