Editor’s Note: Iran Press Watch was pleased to note this statement published in Iran Press News by the Women’s Coalition Camp in Sanandaj and commissioned a translation of it for our readers.
Below is a statement issued by the Women’s Coalition Camp in Sanandaj, which was held on Friday from 8 to 12 a.m. at the Abidar Park. A number of activists from other cities were also present. The location was under complete army surveillance and the activists were surrounded by plainclothes officers.
Statement on the occasion of March 8, the International Women’s Day
It has been said that the liberation of women is the standard for the liberation of society. It should, however, be added that any society, in which women are not given due respect, equal rights, security and freedom, is one that is in absolute bondage. How can a sense of true prosperity and liberty be ever attained when gender prejudice continues to destroy lives; when it still persists in creating and recreating an anti-female culture; when it endures to strengthen violence and male-domination; and when it succeeds in inflicting a deep wound upon the temple of humanity?
Securing a better tomorrow and a better world is the aim of any movement which works to give rise to a society that is based on liberty, equal rights and prosperity for all.
Women’s movement has historically been a movement against discrimination, against inequality, against male-domination and against anti-female traditions. If a day is still required to celebrate the “International Women’s Day”, it is only because a male-dominant and anti-woman order is still reigning over the world. Women are still deprived of equal rights. Being a woman is still a calamity. Violence against women still persists in various forms — be it from the family, community, the law, or even the culture, politics or the work force. Moreover, the battle against the atrocities endured by women has an old a history as does male domination.
Although such world-wide battles have brought about considerable advantages for women here and there, women continue to live in bondage in most parts of the world. Every day, violence against women takes in as many sacrifices as does a war. Economic deprivations and social limitations have further added to this dilemma. However while discrimination, deprivation of rights and violence against women constitute one aspect of history, collective perseverance and sociological efforts for freedom and liberation constitute another aspect.
The movement for the emancipation of women is a grand movement. Women are seeking equality and freedom. They are demanding economic independence, and the freedom to choose and determine their own destinies. Women are refusing to endure the state of having to accept what is handed down to them.
On this day, together with liberty-seeking women and men around the globe, we wish to pronounce that we stand in firm opposition to any injustice inflicted upon women. Oppression is not the only difficulty with which women are faced, and battling with discrimination is not something which women alone should undertake. The issue of “women” is a sociological matter; and the responsibility to labour towards the elimination of discrimination against women is bestowed upon any movement that is committed to upholding the rights to freedom and to equality.
The “International Women’s Day” is the day to celebrate a humanity that is seeking liberty and is endeavouring to put an end to a long history of hardship. On this day therefore we voice our demands as follows:
- The eradication of all discriminatory laws and regulations affecting women in economic, political, cultural and sociological domains.
- The official recognition of the equality of rights of women and men, and the unlawfulness of any sort of discrimination.
- The establishment of complete equality of rights for women and men within the family nucleus, and in relation to regulations concerning common-law living, marriage, divorce, child-custody, and inheritance.
- The eradication of all gender segregation and apartheid, and the prohibition of inflicting any sort of harm against women.
- The recognition of women’s rights in relation to the manner of dress, travel and social independence.
- The recognition of the equal rights of women for participation in sports and in national as well as international athletic matches.
- A firm determination to end violence against women inflicted either by the government or the family, and the establishment of agencies and institutions to pursue this matter.
We convey our greetings on the occasion of the International Women’s Day to all the women and men in the world who are searching after equality; and celebrate this day alongside a world-wide movement for the emancipation and freedom of women. We call upon all social movements to defend the cause of the rights of women and the eradication of any sort of injustice and prejudice.
The liberation of women is the standard for the liberation of society.
Friday 16 Isfand 1387 [March 6, 2009]
The Women’s Coalition Camp – Sanandaj
[Source: http://www.iranpressnews.com/source/055629.htm. Translation contributed by Gloria Yazdani.]