We at MFI have translated this letter from the Farsi because we found it interesting. While we are encouraged to note that women activists are voicing their demands for equal rights, and explicitly recognizing that their demands are not being represented by the reformist leadership, we regret that these demands have been made to those who have in fact been responsible at the highest levels for policies of gender apartheid.
We would like to share this statement with our readers and encourage comment and discussion.
Letter from a group of Iranian women activists to Mousavi and Karroubi: while pursuing the just demands of the Iranian people, do not neglect the demands of Iranian women
4th Esfand 1388
Translated to English by MFI
JARAS reports that a group of Iranian women activists, in a letter to Mousavi and Karroubi, reminded them that while they pursue the just demands of the Iranian people, they should not neglect the demands of Iranian women. They should clearly emphasize these demands, the role of Iranian women in raising these demands, and their struggle to achieve these demands in their announcements.
The complete text of the letter provided to JARAS is as follows:
As you know, during the tenth presidential campaign, you made promises about the obvious rights of Iranian women, which, during the course of the past 30 years have been totally ignored. Although these promises comprise only a small part of Iranian women’s just demands, during the post-election events, even those little promises disappeared from your announcements and interviews regarding your intention to pursue peoples’ rightful demands. This has happened while women and girls of this land have had a distinguished role in the green movement in pursuing the plundered rights of the Iranian people, have been in the front line of the green movement equal to men, and even have paid and are paying a higher price.
Again and again you have called the people the real leaders of the opposition movement – and that is indeed so – and what people have been seeking and are seeking are non-discrimination and freedom and equality, which demands were declared from your mouth and by those who should have had executive responsibility for the country. These responsibilities are still incumbent upon you.
Do not forget that Iranian women, in order to achieve their demands, voted for your reformist campaign promises, and those demands are impregnated in the green movement’s demands. Women of Iran expect that their demands, side by side with other political and social demands, be addressed and pursued in a distinguished way.
Messrs Mousavi and Karroubi: The historical experience of the Constitutional movement and 57 Bahman Revolution proved that women’s demands have always been overshadowed by the so-called higher reforms. Consequently, women are left with their demands unaddressed and sometimes with even more discrimination. But now we Iranian women, with experience from these two historical periods, are not going to allow our demands and identity to be overshadowed, and our expectation from you, sirs, is that in your pursuit of Iranian peoples’ just demands, do remember the role of Iranian women in raising those demands and their struggle to fulfill or achieve them.
We believe that the proposal of abolishing gender discrimination in the green movements’ demands could be seriously followed, which in that case would add to the national and international credibility of this movement, especially as an anti-discrimination movement.