On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, the Parliamentary Committee for a Democratic Iran (CPID) held a conference in the French National Assembly to review the situation in Iran. Members of parliament and famous French and international personalities were in attendance and declared their support for the Iran uprising and Iranian Resistance.
Mrs. Sarvnaz Chitsaz, the Chair of the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, was among the speakers who addressed the conference. The text of the remarks by Ms. Sarvnaz Chitsaz on the role of women in Iran’s recent uprising follows:
Sarvnaz Chitsaz: It is a pleasure to be with you today, and I thank the organizers of this conference.
As a member of the Iranian resistance, I would like to talk about the role of women in the current uprising.
Everyone knows that the repression of women sparked the latest uprising in Iran and that women have been on the frontline since the beginning.
The whole world admires Iranian women for their courage in rising up against gender apartheid.
Such leadership did not come about overnight; there is a history behind it. Moreover, the Iranian women’s goal is not to ask the regime for this or that right. They want to change the misogynistic mullah regime in its entirety.
In fact, the status and equality of women have been the focus of our resistance in Iran for 37 years.
In the annual appraisal of their struggle against the clerical regime in 1985, the People’s Mojahedin Organization, the central organization and the main force of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – drew the conclusion that to fight against a misogynistic regime, the resistance movement must have diametrically opposite views, recognize the true status of women, especially in the political leadership, and put into practice this total equality.
As a result, a woman (Maryam Rajavi) became the organization’s secretary general. The PMOI’s taboo-breaking was the beginning of a huge transformation in the internal relations of the organization.
Under Maryam Rajavi, a generation of women assumed the most critical responsibilities at all levels of the resistance movement. Over these years, they played their leadership role under the most difficult conditions.
Women’s status in the Iranian Resistance is not limited to several individuals but has inspired Iranian women who can and should play their historical role against the mullahs’ regime.
Women make up more than 50% of the members of the Resistance’s parliament in exile.
The National Council of Resistance is the only Iranian movement that has drafted and published plans and programs on all the fundamental issues of Iranian society from the outset. It approved the NCRI Plan on women’s freedoms and rights 35 years ago.
Against this backdrop, we see Iranian women acting as the driving force and, as the regime says, as leaders of the current uprising.
Due to time constraints, I would not go into the details of the struggles and sacrifices of Iranian women’s mythical Resistance in the regime’s prisons and torture chambers, where they suffered the cruelest physical and mental torture for four decades, but they did not give in. This, of course, requires a separate discussion.
Therefore, I would like to emphasize that although the desire of Iranian women is absolute gender equality, they know very well that until this regime is overthrown, they will not achieve any of their rights, demands, and freedoms, including the freedom of choice in choosing their attire.
For this reason, they chanted “death to the dictator” and “death to Khamenei” on the very first day of this uprising. They cried, “With Hijab or without Hijab, we move on for a revolution.” Yes, the Iranian woman desires to overthrow the entire misogynistic regime of the mullahs.
Maryam Rajavi, as a Muslim woman, has always insisted on: “No to compulsory hijab, no to compulsory religion, and no to compulsory government.”
Finally, I urge you all to stand with our people in solidarity with the democratic revolution in Iran, as you have always done. We must recognize the right of the women and men of Iran to resist this brutal regime and defend themselves.
Thank you for your support.
End of remarks by Ms. Sarvnaz Chitsaz in a conference at the French National Assembly on February 7, 2023.