Me I am a free woman. It is a luxury that women in my home country, Iran, cannot afford. As an Australian of Kurdish-Iranian descent, the past six weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. A cocktail of fear, sorrow, guilt, pride and hope. Fear for the safety of millions of Iranians living under repressive rule. Grief over the hundreds of innocent lives lost and thousands imprisoned and brutally tortured. Guilt for not being a stronger voice about the pain I only know all too well. Death is the ultimate price for freedom in Iran. This disparity must not be lost for those who live with their basic human rights.
Iran is a land of contradictions. It has intense natural beauty, deep cultural and historical roots, and a formidable people from a kaleidoscope of ethnic origins. It has been subject to a powerful rule, instilling fear in those who govern and banishing the country from the international community. The regime has scathing reports of human rights abuses against minorities such as political dissidents, Kurds, Baluchis, Sunni Muslims, Bahais, and the LGBTQIA+ community.
The regime has used censorship to stifle dissenting voices of daring criticism from poets, writers, journalists and free-thinkers. denial of the freedom of women.
Women have been denied freedom of dress, freedom of expression, equal rights in courts, and the ability to hold senior decision-making powers in government or the judiciary. Nonetheless, Iranian young women have the highest literacy rate in the Middle East, the highest percentage of university graduates, and the highest percentage of university graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics compared to other countries. reported to be one of .
Iranian women’s movement erupts on Sept. 16 after Mahsa (Jina) Amini, a young Iranian Kurdish woman, died in moral police custody for failing to abide by strict mandatory hijab-wearing laws did. We are at the forefront of the revolution. The movement has inspired the determination of Iranians to rise up and seek the freedom they deserve.
There must be no mistaking the purpose of this battle. It is not a fight against religion, but rather a system of government, a fight for freedom across gender, class and religion. Women who put on the veil and took off the veil. Young and old. And Iranians, religious and secular, stand shoulder to shoulder calling for regime change. In a country where women can be persecuted for exposing even an inch of too much of her hair, young women take to the streets of Tehran and all major cities in Iran to chanting “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi” (women, life, freedom). .
They have been arrested, beaten, raped and killed, yet they continue to show up day after day to be heard. It is no exaggeration to say that I am proud of being a fellow Iranian woman. I am in awe of the bravery and bravery of these lionesses. Their iron will to fight tyranny and confront hatred and darkness was an act of defiance that both surprised and humbled the Iranian diaspora and the international community. Amplify the voice of the Iranian people.
Iran’s women’s revolution continues to face issues of equality and justice, including a continued lack of representation at all levels of government and business, so it taps into the collective struggle for women around the world. . Gender pay gap. And most worryingly, the continued erosion of women’s rights in places like Afghanistan, India and even the United States. It sends a strong message to all authoritarian and patriarchal societies that a paradigm shift is on the horizon.
As the uprising escalated, so did the anger of Iranian women, intensified in response to the regime’s incredible atrocities. The determination of the Iranian people and the images on social media of young lives lost in this battle clearly show that they have accepted that national freedom comes at a cost. There is no greater power than collective human determination. This is the realm of hope and the promise of freedom.
Australia’s response to this crisis is important. As a member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, our response with a strong international standing and a large Iranian diaspora promotes the universality of human rights and social inclusion and protects progress by ensuring equality. must meet our commitment to rights of women and girls. Actions by the Australian government not only send a clear message that the Iranian regime is monitoring and questioning their legitimacy to rule Iran, but they are lovingly calling Australia home. It will also send a clear message to all immigrants that they matter and that our government will not stay. Human suffering bystanders.
The Australian government issued a message of solidarity and publicly condemned the regime’s barbaric response to innocent protesters, but to date has not seen any announcement of decisive action. A week ago, we announced targeted sanctions against officials and their associates within the regime’s power structure.
If we do not act, we will fail to deliver on our promises and fail to uphold the very human rights we claim to uphold. We fail to recognize that inequalities and injustices against women and vulnerable people around the world are injustices against everyone.
Man is a member of the whole in the creation of one essence and soul. If one member is distressed, the others remain anxious. The 13th-century Persian poet Saadi.