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Progressive Women’s Organisations support the struggle of the women of Iran

Joint statement of democratic women’s organisations in support of the struggle of Iranian women for dignity, equality, peace, justice, and for human and democratic rights

We, the undersigned organisations that campaign for women’s emancipation from every form of exploitation note that:


  • On 6th July 2022, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, ordered stricter implementation of the law of mandatory hejab. Thus, a brutal and aggressive attack on women was instigated on the pretext of defending Islamic hejab and chastity.


  • On 16th September 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested for not having proper hejab. In protest at her death in detention people came to the streets calling for an end to forced hejab.


  • The women of Iran, supported by people from every walk of life, are voicing their opposition to over forty years of misogynistic policies reducing women to second class citizens in the economic, political, cultural, and social life of the country and enshrining this in the law of the Islamic Republic.


  • Since the protests began thousands of civil activists, university students, teachers, reporters, and workers are reported to have been arrested. Women and young girls have been at the forefront of the protests. Teenage girls and boys are among those who have been killed in detention. More than 150 people, including young children, are reported to have been killed during protests and in detention across Iran, the majority in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan.


  • The slogan of ‘woman, life, freedom’ has identified the main character of the protests, for women’s rights to a life free of state-imposed and religious restrictions.


We further declare our support the Iranian women’s demand for an end to compulsory hejab and the repeal of all laws, and economic, social, and cultural policies that treat women as second-class citizens.


We demand the release of the protesters who have been arrested for peaceful demonstration.  We further request independent and impartial investigations and inquests into the death of the detainees and protesters.


We condemn the reactionary religious dictatorship ruling Iran for its repressive policies against protesters who exercise their legitimate rights to protest in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


We reject and resist any direct or indirect intervention in the internal affairs and developments in Iran from any quarter, especially from the United States, the UK, the European Union, and Israel. The future of the political system in Iran is solely and exclusively a matter for the people of Iran and no one else.


At the time of publication of this statement, in October, we have so far received the solidarity of the following sister organisations in the region and in Europe.


Democratic Organisation of Iranian Women (Iran)

Federation of Women of Greece (OGE) (Greece)

AWMR Italia (Italy)

UWEF-Women Solidarity Committees (Turkey)

National Assembly of Women (NAW) (Britain)

Women’s Resource & Development Agency – WRDA (Northern Ireland)

Women’s Democratic Movement (MDM) – Portugal (Portugal)

Women’s Movement POGO – Cyprus (Cyprus)

National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) (India)

Iraqi Women’s League (Iraq)

Haqqy Network for Human Rights Defenders (Iraq)

Iraqi Democratic Future Network (Iraq)

Equality-Wardah Boutros for Women’s Rights (Lebanon)

Bahrain Woman Society (Bahrain)

Neyrouz Association for Culture and Social Works (Lebanon)

Bund demokratischer Frauen Österreichs – Democratic Women’s League Austria                (Austria)

Coordination Council of Women Strugglers of Afghanistan (Afghanistan)

Sudanese Women Union UK & Ireland (UK)

Frauen hetz Feministische Bildung, Kultur und Politik  (Austria)

Socialist Women’s Union (Sri Lanka)

Women for Rights (Sri Lanka)

Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations (FUDANREN) (Japan)

Fernanda Larrainzar Women Worker ́s Organization of México

(OMTM) México

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

FZ, Association of communication center for women, lesbians, migrants, girls – Vienna (Austria)

Green Women of Austria (Die Grunuen Frauen Osterreich) (Austria)

Association of Democratic Women (Bund demokratischer Frauen Steiermark) (Austria)


(7th November 2022 original publication – revised since then to include newly-received signatures)