The very existence of the Islamic regime of Iran is incompatible with freedom of women. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a misogynist state, architect of gender apartheid and perpetrator of three decades of the most odious forms of abuse, discrimination and violence against women in Iran. A society cannot be free if women are not free. Without the overthrow of the misogynist Islamic regime, women in Iran will not achieve their rights. The Islamic Republic must go! This is the message of Neda Agha Soltan, the symbol of the ongoing revolution in Iran; it is the decree of the brave women who at the front lines of people’s protest have been challenging the entire Islamic state for the past seven months.
Thirty years ago on March 8th, 1979 in Iran, we freedom-loving women and men stood up to the reactionaries who had just come to power, with shouts of No to compulsory veil! Today, with the painful and bloody experience of three decades of gender apartheid, gender slavery and nonstop suppression of women behind us, we state even more clearly and forcefully, along with the young and progressive generation of today, that the Islamic Republic, as a misogynist state, as a regime of gender apartheid must be overthrown. We say that the leaders of the Islamic Republic must be arrested and put on trial for systematic crimes against millions of women, for crimes against humanity. This is the decree of the revolution in Iran. With the overthrow of the Islamic Republic we will lend a helping hand to millions of women in Islam-stricken countries who are prisoners of terrorist Islamic states and gangs and honour-worshiping, male-chauvinistic Islamic traditions.
Today, support for the ongoing revolution in Iran can and should become a vast international movement. March 8th is International Women’s Day, which this year bears the mark of solidarity with women and people in Iran in the struggle to topple the Islamic regime. We call on women’s rights activists and organisations to express their solidarity with the women’s movement in Iran, while remembering Neda Agha Soltan as the symbol of the revolutionary movement against the Islamic Republic. March 8th this year is the day of solidarity with the movement of the people of Iran for freedom!
We issue the following Manifesto of the Liberation of Women in Iran, and call on all women’s rights’ activists and secular and progressive forces to support this Manifesto and join up in solidarity with the people of Iran in the struggle to overthrow the Islamic regime of gender apartheid:
1.Prosecution of the leaders and officials of the Islamic Republic for crimes against humanity, including for thirty years of the vilest abuse, discrimination and violence against women in Iran
2.Abolition of all misogynist Islamic laws and all laws that discriminate against women; complete equality of women and men in all economic, political, cultural, social and family spheres
3.Complete separation of religion from the state, the educational system and all laws
4.Abolition of segregation of the sexes and gender apartheid
5.Prohibition of sighe (Islamic ‘rent-a-wife’) and polygamy; unconditional right of separation (divorce) for women and men; abolition of all laws which make women’s civil rights (such as the right to travel, social intercourse, participation in social activities, etc.) conditional on obtaining the permission of the husband, father or other male members of the family; complete equality of women’s and men’s rights and duties in the custody and care of children following separation
6.Abolition of compulsory veil (hejab) for women; prohibition of hejab for children; full freedom of dress
7.Abolition of all the barbaric laws of stoning, execution, retribution (qesas) and other Islamic punishments
8.Unconditional freedom of expression, protest, strike, assembly, organisation and forming parties
9.Immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience
10.Freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religion.
22 January 2010
To sign up to the manifesto, please go to: http://equal-rights-now.com/IntWD/IntWD649.php?nr=63719093&lang=en
To see Maryam Namazie’s call to show solidarity with the people of Iran, click here:
To see how you can support the people of Iran, click here:
For more information on the manifesto or March 8 events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; call 0049-1775692413 or 0044-7719166731 or visit http://equalrightsnow-iran.com/ or http://iransolidarity.org.uk/.
I've put this here to assist people who might want to sign it, or might otherwise be interested in its content. Please give it your consideration as it's generally a worthy cause.
However, I have not signed it because there are parts of it that I don't fully agree with, and it's my policy not to sign any document unless I'm in total agreement. Of course, that raises questions about whether this is a good policy to follow or whether we should be prepared to sign off on things like this if we agree with the spirit and most of the detail, without quibbling too much about relatively minor points of disagreement. Still, although I'm open to discussion, I'm unlikely to change my policy on that.