MADRE Statements

Iranian Women at the Forefront of Protests

Posted on: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keywords: Iran, Middle East

We recently received a message from Roya Hakakian, an Iranian-American writer and journalist.  Given all that has been going on in Iran in the past weeks, we wanted to share her words with you.

Many of you have written me in the past few days asking for my take on the crisis in Iran. It's hard to find words that can do the images justice. What I see is at once devastating and uplifting. Activists from inside the country are forwarding, through Facebook and other means, their videos and messages, images of baton-wielding thugs and plainclothes men charging at them with knives and tear gas. And yet, the crowd rises and returns to the streets day after day to peacefully protest. We have always had a great many reasons to stay in touch, but now, there's even more meaning to our staying connected, united, so that we can echo the question that Iranians are asking: Where's my vote?

Love and peace,

For more of Roya’s analysis, click here and here.

For more information about the ongoing protests, and particularly the role of women, here are a few articles that can provide some context:

Iranian Women a Major Force in Election Protests
Iranian women standing up for rights
Can Women Change The Course Of History In Iran?
Women At Forefront Of Iranian Protests
Iran: Statement by 250 Members of the Women’s Movement (Some of the signatories to this letter, posted by Women Living Under Muslim Laws, have since been arrested.)

These articles highlight the fact that women have been at the forefront of the current protests, but it's important to remember that women's activism is not new to Iran. This video, created in May 2008, shows Iranian feminists protesting against gender apartheid.



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Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444

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