Separation of Religion from the State and the Overthrow of the Anti-Woman
Regime in Iran is the First Step toward Women’s Emancipation!
March 8 is on its way. Heartbeats intensify, and our sights
are set on the struggle of our sisters all around the world, to join together,
hand in hand, for a world free of gender oppression.
For yet another year, we followed, day by day and moment by
moment, the struggle of women all around the world. We became furious with the
attacks on women in Tahrir Square, those brave women
who refused to be kept out of the struggle in Egypt. With women protesting in
Wall Street, we women challenged the defenders of "Democracy and the World
Capitalist Order". In Libya we women cried out that we don’t need Sharia laws. We women in Greece poured into the streets and
shook the "United and Free" European order, and we women in the US
are fighting for abortion rights and against pornography and patriarchy.
The beautiful voice of "Amol
Al-Maslosi" from the occupied streets of Tunisia, conveyed the message of “I am the voice of rebels.
I am free, and my world is too...” and this is the cry of women in the Arab
countries. In these times women, in huge numbers, powerful and fearless, have
poured onto the streets and captured the headlines of world media and
overturned the image of Muslim women. We are determined to turn our struggles
into a worldwide hurricane for putting an end to the inferior position of
We, the women in Iran, experienced a reversal
with the coming to power of the anti-women regime of the Islamic Republic,
thirty-three years ago. We genuinely fear that history may repeat itself in the
We witnessed how in Iran, from the uprising of 1979 through
the protests in 2009, revolutionary and progressive forces dropped women’s
demands under the pretext that those demands were not the main points of the revolution. With that
position they disarmed themselves in the face of reactionary Islamic forces,
and because of that, the whole revolutionary movement rapidly accelerated down
the hill to defeat.
Today, we know extremely well that presenting basic demands,
a programme and an outlook for the liberation and equality of women is a
dividing line question for progressive, militant forces seeking to move society
We, the women of Iran, have felt in our flesh and blood that
the ideological foundation, symbol and parameters of an Islamic regime are
based keeping women in an inferior position, in fact, slavery, by totally
denying their rights. Reactionary religious forces, hand in hand with their
international partners, stole the fruit of the people's just struggle.
We have been imprisoned by the forced wearing of the hejab for over thirty years. We also know that the hejab, whether compulsory or by choice, is a symbol of the
slavery of women and brings them under the domination of the other half of
With the coming to power of anti-women reactionary
Islamists, we saw how religion meant utter obedience before God’s
representatives on earth, meaning daily punishment for our disobedience and
The implementation of Islamic laws over the past thirty
years has suffocated women in Iran. We know full well the effects of Islam in
power and the implementation of Sharia laws in
theocratic Islamic governments such as Iran. Whether it be
the backward and reactionary Taliban or the Karzai
government in Afghanistan, the harsh feudal regime of Saudi Arabia, the
"soft and secular" Islamism in Turkey, or the government in Iraq ...
they have all brought nothing but degradation, absolute oppression and slavery
We organised the biggest demonstration against the
compulsory hejab on March 8, 1979. Since then, in our struggle
for our basic rights against the Islamic Republic regime, we have been tempered
and accumulated enough experience to know that the first step in the
emancipation of women is the complete separation of state and religion, which
can only be obtained as a result of the overthrow of the anti-women Islamic
Republic order in its totality.
8, 2012, we will be in the streets to shout that the struggle of
our sisters in the Arab and other Islamic countries, united with all the
progressive forces there, is the first step of our struggle for the complete
separation of religion and state. This is the message of women in Iran, under
the rule of an Islamic regime, to our sisters all over the Middle East and
Look at the slave-like conditions of millions of women in Iran. Do not allow this experience to be
repeated. Focus your conscious struggle on keeping the reactionary Islamic
forces from coming to power.
We women have to be at the forefront of struggle against the
rotten religious and traditional customs upheld by backward Islamists. It is
our daring struggles that can bring the most progressive forces to the
battlefields to resist numerous reactionary forces. It is our continuous and
uncompromising struggles that can assure that the people's struggle for
emancipation can flourish.
Only our perseverance can beat back both reactionary Islamic
forces and their imperialist backers – who, under the pretext of
"humanitarian intervention" or "defending women’s rights",
have ruined the lives of millions of women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through
their puppet regime in Libya, they forced Sharia laws
and polygamy on women, and now they dare talk about defending women’s interests
in Iran. We know well, that the male chauvinist imperialists are seeking their
own interests, and they will never free a single woman on this planet. We women
in Iran will not allow them to force another historical reversal on us in our
name. The Islamists and the imperialists are all patriarchal and reactionary,
and must be thrown into the dustbin of history.
We must not confine ourselves to what might seem possible.
We must identify the obstacles and demand the impossible, keep our sights high
and climb rocky and huge mountains. We must fly over the old order of religion,
capitalism, and patriarchal society to gain momentum and capture new and higher
mountaintops of emancipation, where the freedom and equality of women is carved
out and shines as a centrepiece.
Let us join together to celebrate International Women’s Day
on a massive scale, with pride and joy, with our struggles focussed against
patriarchal order that rules the world.
8 March Women's Organization (Iran-Afghanistan)