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DOIW strongly condemns campaign against courageous women of Iran and the imposition of gender apartheid by the use of repression and the climate of war

According Iranian official media, just one day before the Islamic regime’s drone and missile attack on Israel[1] – which threatened to spread war and bloodshed in our region and homeland – Tehran and major cities in Iran were scenes of street raids and violent confrontation with brave women, in a pre-planned operation ordered by the Supreme Leader, the “Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces” of the Islamic Republic. In his April 3, 2024 speech[2] to a gathering of the heads of civil authorities and military commanders, Khamenei expressly commanded that “hijab is an indisputable religious ruling and the country‘s authorities must carry out their duties [enforcing it].”  Immediately the Fars security news outlet announced the re-launch of the regime‘s apparatus for suppression, this time called the “Plan of Light”. At the same time as the implementation of this reactionary plan, since last Saturday operatives of the police force of the Islamic Republic of Iran (NAJA), plainclothes and gray uniformed officers started a campaign of verbal and physical assault, terrorizing, beating and arresting women in the city’s public places, squares and streets.

The fact is that, the regime is mired in growing economic and social crises that it cannot solve. In these conditions, desperate and unable to contain women’s civil resistance and efforts to maintain the campaign‘s achievements, and alongside it, the continuation and spread of popular protests, including the struggles of workers, retirees, teachers and nurses, as it tries to increase the pressure and expand the scope of repression, the Islamic Republic’s misogynistic regime, is prepared to take advantage of regional tensions in a bid to prevent the eruption of the people’s anger, and to stop the vigorous movement of “woman, life, freedom”in its tracks or to role back its achievements.

With the calming down of the demonstrations and uprising of last year, the dictatorial and misogynistic regime  put in place various plans to push back some of the achievements of the movement – among them the demand for the right to optional cover [the option not to wear the hejab], opposition to gender segregation in universities, or women‘s right of entry to stadiums. Among the regime’s measures against women who do not observe the hejab has been floggings – such as that prepetrated against Roya Heshmati which displayed a Taliban-style face of the regime of the Supreme Leader – imposing bans in public places, fines, summons and confiscation of cars and closing down shops and petrol stations, among others. But these reactionary scheme have been largely thwarted by the courageous resistance of women and the support of the brave people of our homeland.

Another reality that the misogynistic rulers of the Islamic Republic find bitter and disturbing is the people’s overwhelming rejection of political Islam and their demand for the separation of religion from the state. This is the great achievement of the “woman, life, freedom” movement, which has already sounded the call for the rejection and collapse of the religious dictatorship, to the point that even the regime’s affiliates acknowledge and caution about it. Nevertheless, in order to continue its disgraceful rule and to continue its plunder of the country, the regime is willing to sacrifice even the national interests of our homeland by pursuing dangerous policies that increase tensions.

In the recent words of Nasrin Sotoudeh, the courageous lawyer of the people, “We do not want war with any name”. War not only benefits imperialist powers and tyrannical and fascist regimes, but as the world is witnessing today in the bloodied and devastated Gaza and Palestine – where a large proportion of the 33,000 Palestinians killed are children and civilians – the victims of war are generally women, children and the underprivilege. It is they who bear the cost of war with countless human lives lost, alongside devastation and the destruction of the country’s infrastructure.

The Democratic Organization of Iranian Women (DOIW) condemns any war-mongering policies, and measures that heighten tensions in the region, as well as the imperialist supporters of these destructive wars. DOIW  believes that the determination of women and all people of our homeland to fulfill the demands of the women’s movement for freedom and for fundamental changes in our homeland is certain and irreversible, and that even the brutal suppression by the reactionary regime of Islamic Republic of Iran against the courageous and militant women of Iran and against other popular forces of the movement cannot prevent them from working together to achieve their lofty human goals and achieving their democratic rights.

Victory to the united struggle of Iranian women and men for freedom, equality, peace, and social justice!

No to war!

Long live peace and freedom!

Democratic Organization of Iranian Women

16 April 2024


[1] On 13-14th April 24

[2] Corresponding to 15th Farvardin 1403