WILPF International Secretariat Geneva, Switzerland 05 October 2022
Statement to support the Iranian people’s uprising against Tyranny
We at WILPF stand in solidarity with the wide-scale uprising of the Iranian people against the hegemonic, violent and oppressive regime. Our radical feminist tradition taught us that oppressive states will always try to conscript women’s bodies, sometimes by compulsory dress codes, in this case the Hijab, sometimes by compulsory Hijab removal. This is not about morality, it is about policing women’s bodies and choices, depriving them of health and reproductive rights, and pushing them out of the public space. It is a tool to strengthen the militarised control of the state.
The murder of Mahsa Amini/Jina Amini has sparked earth-shaking anger. It has reignited a struggle that has spanned over several decades challenging deeply rooted structural oppression, inequality and neoliberal policies. We stand in solidarity with the many women who were murdered challenging control over their bodies, with the minorities who were isolated, suppressed and denied their cultural and political autonomy, and with the working class who has been demonised and reduced to disposable fuel for the aggressive militarised power of a ruthless state.
The Iranian feminist movement has been central to this uprising. It established a collective conscience that motivated women, youth, workers and teachers among other groups to populate the streets at an unfathomable cost. It has analysed the patriarchal nature of the regime and built a narrative to link the public and private violence, within the borders of the state and without, and it continues to provide feminist alternatives through collective analysis, strategising, mobilising, and consensus building. We offer our solidarity, voice and action towards the realisation of their demands.
The Iranian regime will try to reduce their systematic oppression to an individual crime and offer an individual investigation resulting in carceral accountability. It doesn’t take an investigation to conclude that “morality” doesn’t require policing, and that the immorality that must stop is that of the military state that is unashamedly persecuting its people. Tyranny wants to distract the population of the bigger prison by increasing the population of the small prison, we want neither. We support the transformative demands of the Iranian people, we stand behind their call for “Women, Life and Freedom”.
And for those of us within the feminist movement, let’s remember that Iranian women do not need us to weigh in on the debate about what to do with their bodies, they need us to use the spaces available to make sure that no woman’s or girl’s body is a playing field for state policies, any state.
CONSULTATIVE STATUS WITH UN ECOSOC, UNCTAD AND UNESCO. 2 SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE RELATIONS WITH FAO, ILO AND UNICEF.