March International Women's Day
women's struggle against gender oppression and exploitation!
you hear the sound of women's bones being crushed under the wheels of the
machinery of exploitation in the farms, factories and workshops, and exhausting,
shattering and repetitive work at home?
you hear the stifled cries of a young woman who has been raped by her boss in a
you seen a girl choked with tears when forced to get married?
you aware of the trade in young girls in the countrysides
of the third world and the gloomy future that awaits them? Has the
nerve-shattering scream of a nine-year-old bride ever shaken your entire being?
you know about the night-time beatings and the bullying behaviour? Do you know what it feels like to go
unnoticed and be counted as nothing? Do you know how painful it is when you are
insulted and despised or ridiculed by your partner in front of others?
you felt the suppressed anger of the woman who has been betrayed by her
husband? Have you ever expressed your satisfaction and solidarity when a woman
punished her violent, rapist husband?
you feel the pain in your heart when you hear that a young woman has been
killed in broad daylight by her husband merely because she dared to file for a
you imagine the feeling of a girl child whose tiny body has been raped by her
closest relatives as she experiences savage "sex" for the first time
and is robbed of her future?
you remember the pallid face of the girl soaked in blood by her brother in
order to "protect the family's honour"?
you understand the meaning of a precarious life, and the homelessness,
discrimination, occupation, rape, and war happening today in Syria and
you tolerate hearing how hundreds of women in Kurdistan, Iran, Afghanistan,
India and Pakistan and on and on have set themselves on fire because of the
absolute degradation they feel?
you understand the feelings of women when dire poverty breaks their pride and
pushes them into prostitution so that their children do not go to bed hungry?
you ever hated yourself when you have seen pornography that pictures a woman so
degraded, as if she is worth nothing but serving men's sexual desires?
you understand a woman's feeling of worthlessness when she is forced to have
sex by her partner?
you understand a woman's feeling of fear and insecurity as she flees men's
shadows in the dark of night?
you familiar with words such as whore, slut, bitch… ?
you know what was going on in the head of the mother who burned herself and her
children to end a life full of oppression and exploitation?
what was going to be imposed on that school girl who hung herself when still in
her school uniform so as to escape the future awaiting her?
you ever been irritated at the self-alienation of a woman who undergoes surgery
in order to be "more attractive" to men?
you know that women who rebel against these rotten and outmoded traditions are
brutally beaten to death by patriarchal thugs and the "security"
forces in the light of day in front of those who witnessed the scene, or
condemned to death by those who rule in the name of Islamic Sharia law?
you feel the pain of the first stone that hit the skull of a woman who is half
you believe that acid or a razor blade might burn or rip the flesh in your
face, simply because your veil doesn't cover you enough?
is not our culture! Stoning to death doesn't come from our tradition!
"Honour killing" is not our legacy! Female genital mutilation has
nothing to do with our culture! These
have all been imposed on Iran, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, etc., by religion and
superstition, by the culture and tradition of patriarchy, by the force of guns
and imprisonment, to serve and protect the exploitation of anti-woman
all this, how can we ask millions of women, who every moment of their lives are
exposed to and affected by all these mounting forms of oppression, to talk and
negotiate with the main representatives of the perpetrators and source of all
this rampant oppression? And beg them
for a slice of equality?
can we plead with those who arrest and whip young women and girls because they
leave a few hairs hanging out of their veil?
can we beg those who stone to death our sisters because they have had sexual
relations outside marriage? To beg those who consider women just a means to
fulfil men's desire? To beg from those
who punish women when they don't abide by patriarchal/male chauvinist laws?
From those whose laws allow trade in nine year-old girls? From those who don't
recognize women's right to divorce but allow men to have several official wives
and dozens of unofficial ones at the same time? From those whose laws deprive
homosexuals of their basic human rights and punish them with death if they are
caught. From those…
look at Iran
women on the path to their liberation are facing one of the most vicious
anti-women regimes in the world. Iranian women stood up against the 8 March
1979 decree enforcing compulsory wearing of the hijab by [Islamic
Republic head Ayatollah] Khomeini,
and by doing this they founded the new women's movement in Iran that is
women are involved in an unequal war against the anti-woman Islamic regime. For
more than 37 years they have been resisting and struggling against the violence
that is imposed on them in their homes, on the street and everywhere else by
the medieval laws and code of punishment based on Islamic Sharia laws. We want
you to hear our voice, the voice of our struggle, the struggle of Iranian women
for liberation and equality, which is part of the worldwide struggle of women
against the patriarchal imperialist-capitalist system.
support and assistance to the struggle of Iranian women will strengthen the
women's revolutionary struggle in the Middle East and will inspire and assist
women's struggle for liberation on a world scale.
patriarchal imperialist powers, by launching invasions and wars of occupation
in the Middle East, have impelled the fundamentalist forces against the people
and instigated racist and fascist forces in the West against immigrants and
Muslims. Conscious women must line up against all this oppression and crime and
violence. We must create our own front of struggle against this, and expand it.
The front of conscious and organised women, the front of struggle against all
forms of violence, the front of struggle against all outmoded forces in the
Middle East and all the racist forces in the West, the front of struggle
against warmongering and military occupation, the front of struggle against all
the patriarchal capitalist-imperialist powers that, in cooperation with Islamic
and non-Islamic anti-woman forces, are spreading their hellish system all over
sum, the front of struggle against the fundamentalists and the patriarchal
is the line of demarcation, and based on that and based on unity and
international solidarity, along with other revolutionary fighters, freedom
lovers and progressive forces, we will organise our struggle to advance towards
a world in which there is no sign of compulsory hijab, prostitution, rape and
sexual harassment, domestic and social violence, female genital mutilation, the
sex trade, poverty, war, refugees, slavery for capitalism, religion and
superstition, men's appropriation of women and not any form of oppression and
8 of March Women’s Organisation (Iran-Afghanistan)
8 March 2016