1,000 Well-Recognized Women Worldwide Rally for Freedom and Gender Equality in Iran
In anticipation of the first anniversary of the Iranian uprising, over 1,000 well-recognized women, including former heads of state, have issued a call to action directed at the international community. Their message emphasizes three key points:
- Solidarity with the courageous women and the people of Iran.
- Support for Maryam Rajavi and her Ten-Point Plan, which advocates for a free and democratic republic.
- The need to blacklist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Leading up to the one-year mark of the nationwide uprising that began on September 16, 2022, more than 1,000 well-recognized women have united in signing a statement, urging the international community to stand alongside the Iranian population, with a special focus on women, in their pursuit of freedom.
Among the signatories are 50 former presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers, and ministers, as well as 175 members of Parliament, alongside hundreds of mayors, former parliamentarians, women’s rights activists, scholars, experts, Nobel laureates, and leaders of non-governmental organizations.
The signatories to the statement hail from various parts of the world, including the Western Hemisphere, several European nations, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East, representing a wide range of socio-political viewpoints and affiliations. Their collective statement underscores the pioneering role played by women and girls in the 2022 uprising in Iran.
“The regime’s repressive forces tragically claimed the lives of 750 individuals, a significant portion of whom were young women and girls. At least 70 children lost their lives due to the brutal crackdown by the regime,” reads the statement.
The well-recognized women note, “The Iranian people, both women and men, have united behind the demand to dismantle the religious dictatorship and establish a democratic republic characterized by the separation of religion and state and full gender equality.”
They highlight that Iranian women’s prominent role in the struggle has deep roots in a century of resistance against two distinct forms of tyranny: monarchical and religious dictatorships. Iranian women have eloquently expressed their ultimate goals through slogans like “Whether veiled or unveiled, we are heading towards the revolution.”
In a resounding declaration of support, the 1,000 well-recognized women worldwide align their voices with the sentiments of 3,600 parliamentarians worldwide and 123 former presidents and prime ministers. They express solidarity with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and her Ten-Point Plan, which advocates for a free, democratic republic and gender equality, particularly the right of women to choose their attire freely.
The signatories urge the international community to take concrete actions in support of the brave women and people of Iran. Specifically, they call upon governments to designate the oppressive and criminal Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization and to take decisive measures to hold the regime’s leaders accountable for their crimes.
The text of the statement and a partial list of signatories follow:
Statement of Support for the Resistance of Iranian Women
As we approach the first anniversary of the Iranian people’s uprising for freedom, we, the undersigned, express our solidarity and support for the uprising of the Iranian people, especially women.
On September 16, 2022, a nationwide uprising erupted with women and girls pioneering this revolt. Of the 750 individuals tragically killed by the regime’s repressive forces, a significant number were young women and girls. As a result of the regime’s brutal suppression, at least 70 children lost their lives.
The demand of the Iranian people, both women and men, crystallized in their slogans, is to end the religious dictatorship and establish a democratic republic based on the separation of religion and state and complete gender equality.
In the face of the brutality and savagery of the clerical regime, the world observed the courage and audacity of Iranian women and girls during the uprising. They defied the regime’s oppressive forces, especially the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij, risking their lives with bare hands, and chanted, “Whether veiled or unveiled, we are heading towards the revolution.”
The courage and prominence of women in this struggle did not spontaneously materialize. Rather, it is firmly rooted in a century of Iranian women’s resistance against two distinct forms of tyranny: monarchical and religious dictatorships. Misogyny is a distinct fevature and one of the pillars of the system of velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule). The people, especially the youths and women of Iran, are determined to end this medieval dictatorship.
Now, as the ruling mullahs in Iran have once again launched oppressive Guidance patrols in the streets to suppress women and prevent the re-ignition of the uprising, and as the religious tyranny has stepped up executions to continue its rule,
We, the undersigned, express our solidarity with (along with) 3600 parliamentarians worldwide and 123 former presidents and prime ministers, who voiced support for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and her Ten-point Plan for a free, democratic republic and gender equality in all spheres, most notably the right of women to freely choose their attire.
We ask the international community to stand with the brave women and people of Iran, place the oppressive and criminal Revolutionary Guards on the terrorist list, and take decisive steps to hold the leaders of the regime accountable for their crimes.
Partial list of Signatories:
- Mary McAleese, President, Ireland (1997- 2011)
- Yulia Tymoshenko, Prime Minister, Ukraine (2005 – 2010)
- Tarja Halonen, President of Finland (2000 – 2012)
- Rosalia Arteaga Serrano, President of Ecuador (1997)
- Mercedes Aráoz, Prime Minister, Peru (2017 – 2018). Second Vice President of Peru (2016-2020)
- Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta (2014 – 2019)
- Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, Second Vice-President of Costa Rica (2014-2018); Costa Rican Ambassador to Spain (2018-2022)
- Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs (2001 – 2009)
- Isabelle Lonvis-Rome, Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities of France (2022 – 2023)
- Baroness Verma, Member of House of Lords, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Department (2015-2016) and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Energy and Climate Change 2012-2015, UK
- Baroness Blackstone, Member of House of Lords, Minister of State for Culture and Media, UK (2001 – 2003)
- Rt Hon. Caroline Nokes MP, Member of House of Commons, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Minister of State for Home Office 2018-2019, UK
- Judy A. Sgro, Senior MP from Liberal Party in Canada, Former minister of Citizenship and Immigration (2003-2005), Canada
- Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development of Canada 2013 – 2015; Former leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
- Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, MP; Chief Opposition Whip, Former Minister of National Revenue, Canada
- Åse Kleveland, Minister of Culture of Norway (1990-1996); Well-known singer
- Trine Skei Grande, Former Minister of Education and Integration; Former Minister of Culture; Leader of the Liberal Party 2010-2020 / former MP 2001-2021
- Jonina Bjartmarz, Minister of the Environment & Nordic Cooperation, Iceland (2006-2007)
- Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, MP, Minister of Education, Science and Culture (2003-2009), Chair of the Liberal Reform Party since 2017, Iceland
- Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Member of Parliament. Minister of Science. Education and Sports of Republic of Lithuania (2020-2023)
- Eva-Maria Liimets, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estonia (2021-2022)
- Annely Akkermann, Member of Parliament, Minister of Finance, Estonia (2022-2023)
- Riina Solman, Member of Parliament, Minister of Public Administration, Estonia (2019-2021)
- Antonella Mularoni, Former Minister of Foreign and Political Affairs, San Marino, Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, San Marino
- Nargis Nehan, Former Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Women’s rights advocate, Afghanistan
- Ljudmila Novak, Member of the European Parliament from Slovakia, Vice President of the Government (2012-2013), Slovenia
- Sihem Badi, Minister of Women Affairs, Tunisia (2011 – 2014)
- Masoudah Bent Baham, Former minister of development, first deputy of parliament, Mauritania.
- Alsunniyyah Bent Seyedi Heyba, Former Minister of Women’s Affairs, Mauritania
- Hoda Badran, Former Minister, Chair of the Alliance for Arab Women, Egypt
- Nahed Shaker, Former Deputy Minister at the UN, Egypt
- Hakima El Haite, Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment, Morocco (2013-2017)
- Najimeh Tay Tay, Former Minister of Education and Youth, Morocco (2002)
- Taghrid Al-Hejli, Former Minister of Culture and Family of the Syrian Provisional Government
- Susan Bazilli, UN Expert in the OHCHR examination of the human rights situation in Belarus; Director of International Women’s Rights Project (IWRP), Canada
- Anne Ramberg, Co-Chair, International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI); Ad hoc Judge, European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); Board Member, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA); Chair, Board of Uppsala University; Former Secretary General, Swedish Bar Association, Sweden
- Yasmin Sooka, Chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan; former Commissioner, South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; former Commissioner, Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Honorary Fellow, University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Oleksandra Matviichuk, 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Ukraine
- Elfriede Jelinek, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Austria
- Sviatlana Alexievich, Honourable President of PEN Belarus, 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, Belarus
- Linda Chavez, Chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity/ Former Director of the Office of Public Liaison of White House
- Filloreta Kodra, Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations in Geneva
- Zorica Marić-Djordjević, Ambassador of Montenegro to the UN Human Rights Council and World Trade Organization (2013-2018)
- Amanda Ellis, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations in Geneva (2013-2016)
- Dr. Alma Lama, Former Ambassador of Kosovo to Italy, Malta and San Marino; Former Member of Parliament
- Sonja Biserko, Former Member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in North Korea (DPRK); Founder and President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
- Maude Barlow, Former Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly; Former Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
- Theresia Degener, Former Chairperson, UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); Director of Bochum Center for Disability Studies (BODYS)
- Maud De Boer-Buquicchio, UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children (2014-2020); former Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
- Soledad Villagra de Biedermann, Member of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (2002-2008)
- Melissa Parke, Member, UN Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen (2017–2021); Former Federal Labor Member for Fremantle; Former Minister for International Development (AusAID)
- Karen Smith, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect (2019-2021)
- Houria Esslami, Former Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID)
- Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences (2009-2015); Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Naima Ferah, Former Advisor to the Minister of Advertising, Morrocco
- Baroness Harris of Richmond, Member of House of Lords, Former Deputy Speaker, UK
- Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws KC, Member of the House of Lords, University Chancellor, UK
- Baroness Eaton, Member of House of Lords and former Conservative Party Whip in the House of Lords, UK
- Baroness Cox, Member of House of Lords, Deputy Speaker of House of Lords, UK
- Stefania Ascari, Member of Parliament, Italy
- Hanna-Katrín Friðriksson, Member of Parliament, Iceland, Parliamentary Chair of the Liberal Reform Party
- Kira Rudik, Member of Parliament, Ukraine; Vice President of ALDE Group, Chair of Holos party of Ukraine
- Lesia Vasylenko, Head of the Inter-Parliamentary friendship group Ukraine-UK MP, Committee of issues of environmental policy and nature management
- Rosalie Woodruff MP, Leader of the Tasmanian Greens, Australia
- Dr Marjorie O’Neill, MP Member for NSW Parliament, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Australia
- Dr. Gordana Siljanovska- Davkova, MP, President of Committee on Equality of Men and Women, North Macedonia
- Lolita Ristova, Member of Parliament, Chair of the Women’s Parliamentary Group, North Macedonia
- Cécile Rilhac, Députée-Présidente du CPID, France
- Alexandra Mendes, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Canada
- Marica Montemaggi, Member of Parliament, San Marino
- Cherie Blair CBE KC, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, UK
- Isabel Allende, Writer and Philanthropist, Chile and USA
- Urška Bačovnik Janša, Doctor and Spouse of the Former Slovenian Prime Minister
- Meredith Burgmann, Former President of NSW Parliament House, Australia
- Ingrid Betancourt, Former Senator in Colombia and Presidential candidate
- Maria Cândida Almeida, Magistrate, retired Deputy Public Attorney, former Director of the Dciap, President of the General Assembly of the Portuguese Women Jurists Association, Portugal
- Dominique Attias, Lawyer, President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation of European Lawyers, Former President of the European Bars Federation, Former Vice-President of the Bar Association at the Court of Appeal of Paris, France
- Hiljmnijeta Apuk, Laureate of the prestigious UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights, Founder of NGO Little People of Kosova
- Arbana Xharra, Journalist; Recipient of US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award 2015, Kosovo
- Annette Wieviorka, directrice de recherche honoraire au CNRS, France
- Marie-Aimee Peyron, ancienne Vice-Présidente de conseil national des avocats, France
- Virginie Votier Secrétaire Générale du Groupe Ecologiste, Social et Citoyen à la Métropole du Grand Paris, France
- Mabel Bianco, President of Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer (FEIM) from Argentina
- Gay McDougall, Senior Fellow and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice / Center for Race, Law and Justice, Fordham University School of Law
- Ranjana Kumari, Director of Centre for Social Research – India, Gender Policy Expert, Former United Nations official, India
- Donna M. Hughes, Founder and Editor in Chief of Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence, Eleanor M and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies, emerita. Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, emerita, University of Rhode Island, USA
- Yasmin Green, Geopolitical technologist, CEO of Jigsaw, USA
- Tracy Edwards MBE, Founder, The Maiden Factor, UK
- Phyllis Chesler, Emerita Professor of Psychology, Author, Feminist, USA
- Carolyng Hoyle, Professor of Criminology, Director of Death Penalty Research Unit, University of Oxford, UK
- Yifat Susskind, Executive Director MADRE, USA
- Randi Smitsdorf, 3F – Aarhus Rymarken faglig faelles forbund, Denmark
- Clare Lopez, Founder/President Lopez Liberty LLC, USA
- Cheryl Miller, co-head of EU Delegation, Women20 G20, Belgium
- Mariane Pearl, Co-founder of THE METEOR platform, is an award-winning journalist and writer who works in English, French and Spanish, France
- Maria Maalouf, Journalist, Host THE CAPITOL Talk show, columnist @skynewsarabia, USA
- Nena Venetsanou, Author, Composer, Performer, Greece
- Sharron Davies MBE, Swimmer, Olympic medalist, UK
- Annika Fröwis, Austrian Women’s Chess Champion 2022
- Anggun Cipta Sasami, Chenteuse, France
- Carole Bureau-Bonnard, Ancienne Vice-présidente Assemblée nationale, France
- Maria del Carmen Quintanilla Barba, Honorary Member of Parliament, and Permanent Member of the Council of Europe / Member of Parliament until 2019 / senator 2020 / National President of AFAMMER-Spain (Association of Families and Women in Rural Areas), Spain
- Marianne Borgen, Mayor of Oslo from 2015