Jun 03, 2008

Statement in Support of Iranian Women

Sample ImageThe International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has issued a statement in support of Iranian women on the occasion of the national day of solidarity in objecting to laws that discriminate against women. UNPO endorses the below statement.




We, the undersigned, representing international women's and human rights organizations,  express our solidarity with Iranian women, on  12 June 2008.  This is  the day identified by  women's rights activists in Iran as their national day of solidarity in objecting to laws that discriminate against women.

Four years ago, on this day, women's rights activists organized an unprecedented protest in front of Tehran University, demanding that laws which discriminate against women be revised.  They pledged to keep up their activities until their demands were met by authorities.   On 12 June 2006, Iranian women's rights activists took to the streets again and planned a similar protest in Haft-e Tir Square, in Tehran, with similar objectives and demands.  The protest was violently broken up and over 70 persons arrested.  This was the first major crackdown against peaceful women's activism in Iran. 

Since then, scores of women's rights activists in Iran have been summoned, charged, arrested and sentenced in relation to their peaceful activism and their demands for equality.  Last year, because of security pressures, women's rights activists celebrated their day of solidarity in their private homes. But as witnessed in the continued summonses to court and persecution of activists involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, the security forces won’t even tolerate the convening of meetings by activists in their private homes. 

On this day, we the undersigned thus want to express our solidarity with women's rights activists in Iran and send them and their government the message that the international community is watching.  We are watching closely their struggle for equality and admire their creativity, persistence and determination under difficult circumstances.  

We urge the Iranian government to stop its harassment of equal rights defenders, to drop all charges against activists who have peacefully advocated for the human rights of women, especially those involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, to allow  women's rights activists to use civil means to address their concerns about discriminatory Iranian laws, and to raise awareness about their concerns among the public. 

Lastly, we urge the Iranian authorities to take concrete steps to bring  laws governing the lives of women in line with international human rights standards, and in line with Iran’s own international commitments.  We urge them to recognize that, while Iranian women have achieved a great deal socially, laws lag far behind the realities of women's lives in Iran. 

And in closing, we urge the Iranian government to allow women to celebrate their day of solidarity unimpeded.


Endorsed By:

1.       Action Now, Kenya

2.       AIDOS, Italy

3.       Aim for Human Rights, the Netherlands

4.       Amargi Woman Cooperative, Istanbul

5.       Amnesty International

6.       Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Thailand

7.       Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

8.       BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights, Nigeria

9.       Campaign for Peace and Democracy, New York

10.   Diakonia, Colombia

11.   Education Society of Malopolska, Nowy Sacz, Poland

12.   Feminists of Ankara Initiative

13.   Forum for Human Rights, Hyderabad, India

14.   Forum for the Empowerment of Women, South Africa

15.   Foundation For Women's Solidarity, Ankara

16.   Front Line

17.   Fuerza de Mujeres Wayce: Wayuu Women Force, Colombia

18.   Human Rights First

19.   Human Rights Watch

20.   Interdisciplinary Group for Human Rights, Colombia

21.   International Association of Women Ministers

22.   International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

23.   International Friends for Global Peace, Sri Lanka

24.   KAGİDER , Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey

25.   Kaos GL Association, Ankara

26.   Komnas Perempuan, National Commission on Violence Against Women, Indonesia

27.   MULABI, Latino American Sapce Working on Sexualities and Rights, Colombia

28.   People changing the World, Kyrgystan

29.   The Global Campaign Stop Killing and Stoning Women!

30.   The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

31.   Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO)

32.   Women Against War, United States

33.   Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways, Turkey

34.   Women Learning Partnership

35.   Women Living Under Muslim Law

36.   Women's Resource Center, Sri Lanka

37.   WOREC, Nepal

Please note: If you or your organization would also like to endorse this statement, please send an email to [email protected]