On the occasion of November 25th, the International Day to protest Violence Against Women:

On the occasion of November 25th, the International Day to protest Violence Against Women:

Comforting the victims of violence is one thing,

but what is needed is to put an end to that violence itself.


Our individual and collective struggle as women IS Not about just being "allowed" to speak out against the violence against women (just for one day).

It Is Not to keep counting the dead bodies of our sisters killed for the sake of their "love" or the family’s "honor".

It Is Not just to make portraits of their bruised and disfigured bodies.

It Is Not just to have pity for their faces burned by acid.

It Is Not about making statements or compiling statistics, or academic research about the bodies of all the women who have been subjected to the sexual appetites of men -- with or without being paid for.

And why is it still necessary to repeat that:

- One out of every 3 women experiences sexual harassment by her own relatives in her lifetime: making "home" the most unsafe space for women.

- Every year 60 million girls are sexually assaulted on their way to school or elsewhere.

 - 80 percent (640,000) of women in human trafficking are trafficked primarily for sexual exploitation.

- At least 60 million females have "disappeared" through infanticide or have been aborted because they were not the desired gender.

- Between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world are disfigured, because of their gender.

- Over 60 million girls are child-brides and directly exposed to sexual abuse.

- In the United States of America, 11.8 percent of HIV infections among women aged 20 and above are related to their partners' activities.

Enough is enough...these cold shocking statistics do not and cannot begin to express the reality of endless moments of anxiety and pain and suffering inflicted by the war that is constantly being waged against women, that reverberates in every cell of our society. The only reason we even have these statistics has everything to do with our fight to break the silence for so many years. It is because we no longer want to remain silent victims of "virtue" and "love." We do not want our bodies to be "covered" or "protected", treated as commodities to benefit this or that political, economical or religious power, nor to be put on a pedestal nor sold on the auction block....We understand now that as long as there is the commodification of bodies our oppression will continue. Thus we are not surprised by the savagery of ISIS that captures our Yazidi and Christian sisters as trophies of war, as in the 1400 year old tradition, to be sold on Mosul's slave auction blocks. This is not much different than our other sisters who are put in the "Red-light" districts of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium ...to be sold in "modern" sex slave auctions. It is because of all of this that we can identify the backwardness and patriarchy, no matter what the forms and shapes of the oppressors.

 Yes! In particular, we women of the Middle East on the one hand are confronting the newly minted religious fundamentalist forces and theocratic states and experience the more barbaric cruelties against women based on Sharia, and on the other hand we suffer from the imperialists’ wars against and compromise with other reactionary regimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria... that has made women the target of their killings, violence, displacements, rapes, and insecurity...      

The Islamic Republic in Iran (IRI), which has been playing the role of moral godfather of the reactionary forces of the region, has for years oppressed women, particularly through the Hijab/veiling, as the main pillar of their rule. Now they have taken another leap in their savagery against women by punishing women even more to push them out of political life and the public sphere.

The IRI regime, on the one hand, by legal and judicial means, through decrees and military force, has pushed women into unemployment, forcing them back into the home to make babies, and, on the other hand, by utilizing the medieval laws of “an eye for an eye”, executes rebel women such as Reyhaneh, who defied subjugation by her attacker in a so-called "crime" of Self Defense, in order to give a lesson to other rebel women. The IRI regime unleashes its operatives through the pulpit of the mosques to order its paramilitary and ideological forces to engage in an Acid War (throwing acid on women's faces) against women for wearing an "insufficient Hijab." These new attacks demand a new round of struggle for us to dig deeper to understand and let people know the roots of this oppression and the path to confront and uproot all this, once and for all.

For these reasons, we believe that all social and domestic violence are links in the same chain – a chain that cannot exist without state repression - they are only symptoms of the male domination and patriarchy of the capitalist system. Violence is a fever that expresses the sickness of existing social relations between men and women. It has been given life and strengthened by the existing disease of this system. All women, from the womb, from girl child to elderly women, all over the world, from real to virtual space, from the husband's bedroom to the boss's office, from the academic conference hall to the gym, from villages in the heart of nature to the most crowded shopping centers, from battlefields to Facebook pages, from the quiet of the alley to the concert hall... anytime and anywhere women are faced with violence or the threat or fear of violence. All women are victims of the direct or indirect, inherent, organized and systematic violence of the system of capitalism, patriarchy. A system that cannot survive without defending, and legitimizing the "superiority" of men over women in every field of economic, social and domestic life. Therefore an all-out relentless, one-sided but largely hidden war against women has been unleashed. A war in which the male is the judge and jury, and the owner and conqueror.... and women are kept in a state of permanent victimhood, where the most she can do is "help" other victims.

But comforting the victims of violence is one thing, and putting an end to violence against women is something else!

Yes, there is no need to prove that we women are victims of a world-wide system with a common interest that has no goal but exploitation and super-exploitation and wants us to be its silent and obedient victims. And the system trains men – husbands, fathers and brothers – to enforce this system and inflict violence in many forms, and it trains women to submit and learn to live with their chains.

In this daily war, this system targets women individually and at times collectively. But we have not been and will not be obedient victims. We revolutionary women have gained enough experience, motivation, courage and anger to stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters around the world to finally put an end to this war against women. By relying on our scientific and emancipatory theories we will reach out to our sisters all over the world to bring consciousness and organization to engage in political struggle. We understand that putting an end to this violence based on unequal relations between men and women is impossible without the complete emancipation of women. Helplessness is not "woman's nature" and violence is not "man's nature". These relations are produced and reproduced, generated and regenerated by the system of class divisions/of capitalism and patriarchy that must be dismantled to put an end to the ownership of women by men.

With further, revolutionary horizons in mind, let's put an end to all forms of oppression and exploitation. And let's build a new world where women are active members of a vibrant society, where valuing human beings is a foundational building block, and no one, no entity, has the power or the opportunity to step on others.

To put an end to the violence, every day is a day of struggle. We Iranian women are planning to participate in this year's November 25 through heightening our struggle against patriarchy in Iran and by focusing on exposing and identifying the perpetrators of Acid Throwing. In this way we can take an active role in putting an end to violence against women. And contrary to the Islamic Republic of Iran that played the leading role in the creation of the theocratic states in the Middle East, we women of Iran, shoulder to shoulder with our sisters, supporters and companions all over the world, will be in the forefront of the powerful struggle against religious fundamentalism and capitalism- imperialism to forge a path for women's emancipation throughout the world.

Women Rise up! Struggle and rebellion does not need a special occasion.

Women Rise up! Revolution does not need an invitation.

Women Rise up! Find your sisters and friends and join with those who are part of this revolutionary transformation.

Women Rise up! Unleash your courage, power, anger, strength and will.

You can and you must cry out for those who are the most downtrodden and who are the most silenced.

You can and you must in the midst of these most pessimistic times of defeats unleash the most courageous and passionate/vibrant struggle.

You can and you must with your generous and powerful hands... shake this world.

You can and you must break all the chains of oppression and exploitation so that no force can ever re-enchain women or anybody else.


March 8 Women Organization (Iran -Afghanistan)

25 November 2014