ON JUNE 12, 2009, ELECTIONS in Iran returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency. On that day, the Iranian people took to the streets in droves. These peaceful demonstrations were met with extreme violence carried out by the Iranian regime. Since that day, the people have not backed down—and continue to fight peacefully for their basic human rights.
This year on June 12, people all over the world joined the struggle. They marked the anniversary by calling for the release of the more than 2,500 political prisoners being held in Iranian prisons. Not surprisingly, the Iranian regime commemorated the anniversary with another crackdown on its opposition. . . .
However, as we see time and time again, the harsher the repression, the stronger the movement grows. And women activists are at the forefront of the struggle for human rights in Iran.
With no leader or central office, for thirty-one years the women’s movement has resided in every Iranian household that cares about human rights. In the past year, the now famous Green Movement has emerged, which has modeled itself on this seemingly unstoppable force. With women’s rights activists at the helm, the network of groups and people that make up the Green Movement consistently demands democracy and human rights in Iran. . . .
These women will not stop. They prove that there is no end to the creative ways that Iranian women will fight back.
Women were at the forefront of this year’s election anniversary protests, as they were yesterday and they will be again tomorrow. And, mark my words, it will be women who will bring democracy to Iran.
This is but a small excerpt of Nobel Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi’s essay in the August issue of The Progressive magazine. To read the essay in its entirety, to get the rest of the August issue online, and to subscribe for the whole year for only $14.97, simply click here.