The misogynous clerical regime’s CSW membership green lights further suppression of and discrimination against Iranian women
The CSW 65th session on April 19, 2021, shamelessly elected Iran’s ruling religious fascism, the first enemy of Iranian women, as a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year term from 2022 until 2026.
Membership of the mullahs’ misogynous religious fascism in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a step against women’s rights and human rights. The measure flagrantly contradicts the philosophy of the United Nations’ existence and allows the regime to step up the suppression and marginalization of Iranian women.
Considering the regime’s criminal record, and in light of its misogynous laws and constitution as well as its violent and discriminatory conduct towards women in all realms, the clerical regime, and its representatives are not qualified to be present in the United Nations, let alone their membership in the Commission on the Status of Women.
A glance at the regime’s misogynic record
The clerical regime’s CSW membership is an affront to Iranian women who have struggled against this medieval regime for more than four decades to regain their rights.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, the regime treats women as second-class citizens. It is the world’s top executioner of women. For almost ten years, the regime has failed to pass any bill to stop violence against women, giving them legal and social protection.
It has hindered the adoption of any law to stop violence against women, but it promotes and supports this violence in law and practice. The clerical regime has recruited 27 ministries and official government agencies to enforce violence against women in the streets across the country.
Iranian experts have acknowledged that the regime holds the world record in domestic violence against women.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, under the clerical regime, Iran is ranked 150 among 156 countries with an index of 0.582. The ranking is two steps down compared to 2020 and 8 steps down compared to 2019. Iran is among “the countries with the largest economic gender gaps.” The clerical regime in Iran scores 0.375 on Economic Participation and Opportunity and a minuscule 0.036 on women’s political empowerment.
Iran is also among the countries with the lowest participation of women in the parliament with 5.6%.
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in a statement denounced the CSW membership of the mullahs’ misogynous religious fascism as a step encouraging further suppression of Iranian women. The NCRI Women’s Committee also urged the international community to condemn membership of the clerical regime, the worst enemy of Iranian women, in the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Despite the CSW’s disgraceful vote, the people and particularly women of Iran, have vowed to boycott the regime and its sham elections. The day is not far when they will topple the mullahs’ regime and replace it with a democratic and pluralistic government. Iranian women are in the streets every day crying out this demand.
Women at the forefront of protests
Over the past 15 months, the clerical regime used the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to prevent the outpour of people’s anger. However, since the start of the new Persian year, it has seen successive outbursts of uprisings and protests in the streets. Social protests escalated again in March and April. Iranian women once again demonstrated their leading role at the forefront of the recent protests.
Some of the most remarkable protests were the successive nationwide rallies by Social Security pensioners and retirees. Retired women participated in at least 130 protests in April. Women also participated in the protests by teachers, nurses, farmers, etc. Iranian women’s participation was registered in at least 151 protests.
Of course, women paid the price for their active presence at the forefront of the protests. They were repeatedly beaten and brutalized. Some of the protesting women were arrested and imprisoned in various cities.
Nationwide protests by Social Security retirees
Iranian retirees and pensioners’ nationwide protest on April 25, 2021, marked the 14th consecutive week they took to the streets to gain their fundamental rights. The retirees and pensioners are protesting high prices and low salaries under the poverty line, making life impossible for them.
Their protests have been held in Tehran and major capitals, including Mashhad, Kermanshah, Karaj, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Arak, Khorramabad, Ardabil, Qazvin, Bojnourd, Sari, etc.
The retirees chanted: “Only by taking to the street we can obtain our rights,”
“Our baskets are empty, enough of oppression,”
“Enough of hollow promises, our baskets are empty,”
“Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say the enemy is the U.S.”
The protesters also chanted, “We will not vote anymore, we have not seen any justice,” and “We will not vote anymore, we have heard enough lies.” In this way, they declared that they would boycott the elections.
During the protest on April 25, The State Security Force tried to prevent the pensioners’ and retirees’ gatherings. In Tehran, the SSF arrested several protesters. They also prevented people from joining the protests and from taking photos and films.
In the protests of Social Security retirees and pensioners, which took place in 17 cities across the country on April 18, 2021, the State Security forces clashed with the protesters in Tehran and arrested two women and a man.
Protests of farmers in Isfahan
In a protest in Vajareh village in Isfahan Province, farmers held a protest demanding to receive their share of water from the Zayandehrood river, which passes through Isfahan. A good number of female farmers participated in this sit-in protest.
A female farmer made a speech and called on everyone to stand firm and not relent until they gain their share of water. In parts of her speech, addressing government officials, she said: “You are the outlaw! You are the criminals! You are the ones who must be prosecuted. It has been several years, now, that you have betrayed the farmers and their rights. I am a woman farmer.
“I swear to God while I am fasting… and I pray to God to cut the hands of traitors from Zayandehrood. They have stolen our rights. So much that they have fed on unlawful profits, they have become blind and deaf. However, this time, we will stand for our rights with all our might, even if we are killed.
“Let future generations know that when their city’s assets were stolen, there were brave people who stood up to the traitors and gained back their share of water from Zayandehrood. Even if I am executed (in public), if I am killed, if me and my children are killed, we will gain back Zayandehrood.”
Zayandehrood river used to be one of Iran’s largest rivers with abundant water. In the past years, the Revolutionary Guard Corps has diverted the river’s route for military and nuclear projects. As a result, Zayandehrood has dried up in Isfahan Province, and farmers cannot use its water for their crops.
Women have been the voice of Iran’s deprived teachers over the past month by leading their protests.
In one of the protest gatherings in Karaj of teachers who have graduated from colleges on April 19, 2021, a woman from Hashtgerd delivered a speech calling on the protesters to rise and take back their rights. For making this speech, she was arrested and detained for 24 hours.
In another gathering on the same day in Ardabil, literacy movement teachers held a gathering outside the Department of Education in this city in northwestern Iran. The protesters have ten years of work experience, and they have passed the employment exam. The Education Ministry, however, has not employed them yet.
On April 27, 2021, causal teachers held a gathering outside the mullahs’ parliament. They expressed their protest against the Ministry of Education, which refuses to hire them on a permanent and official basis.
Protests by defrauded investors of the Stock Exchange
Defrauded investors held protest gatherings in Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, and Tabriz.
In Tehran, women led the ranks of defrauded investors who gathered outside Tehran’s Stock Exchange building and marched in the streets on April 21, 2021. They chanted: “Death to Rouhani” and “Villainous Rouhani must be executed,” “we fight and die but will take back Iran,” and “We won’t live under oppression; we will give our lives to live free.”
Protesting women receive bullets in response
The clerical regime’s suppressive forces attempted to cut down the Walnut trees of Sarab-e Kahman village in Aleshtar, Lorestan Province, on April 28, 2021. The trees are the residents’ source of income, and they have suffered for years to grow these trees.
The residents of Sarab-e Kahman village protested the regime’s inhuman measure by standing up to the special unit of the State Security Force. The SSF fired tear gas and used pellet guns, wounding many protesters.
Some 30 of those wounded were women who were at the forefront of this protest. Some of those injured are in dire conditions, and some have been transferred to Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan Province. The regime’s prosecutor acknowledged the wounding of women: “Some of the resident of Kahman region tried to prevent the implementation of the verdict by forming a human shield by the village’s women!” (The state-run Aftabnews.ir – April 29, 2021)
Asgar Essa’ii, the SSF commander of Selseleh county in Lorestan Province, announced that they had arrested 13 persons. Some of them are charged with taking films and pictures of the protest and posting them on the internet. (The state-run asriran.ir, April 29, 2021)
Women protest lack of drinking water
Women of Noghadi village located near Meshkinshahr, Ardabil Province, held a protest against the lack of clean and piped drinking water in this village. Primarily middle-aged and older women blocked Noghadi Road with rocks and other obstacles. They held up their empty jerry cans and declared that they have not had water for one month, and especially in the month of Ramadan. One of these women said that it had been years that officials have given us false promises. They have not given water to our village.
In addition to the above, women played a remarkable role in the protests in April held by blue and white-collar workers, doctors and nurses, political activists, and families of political prisoners. These protests indicate the irreconcilable conflict between Iranian people –particularly Iran’s courageous women– and the corrupt, kleptocratic, and repressive regime that annihilated their nation and resources.
They are determined to overthrow the regime at any cost despite western governments’ appeasement of the mullahs and turning a blind eye on the flagrant violations of the human rights of Iranian people. Until that day, the United Nations and world governments should stand on the right side of history and by the people of Iran.