Ukrainian feminists: ‘We stand in solidarity with the Iranian uprising’

November 8, 2022
‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ — Protesters show solidarity with the Iranian uprising on October 22
‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ — Protesters show solidarity with the Iranian uprising on October 22 in Brisbane. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

The killing of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman Jîna (Mahsa) Amini by Iran’s “morality police” on September 16 sparked mass protests. The protests started in Tehran, quickly spreading across the country and around the world.

The protests have been met with violent repression by Iranian security forces. Iran Human Rights reported that at least 304 people have been killed in the uprising.

Various Ukrainian feminist activist groups and NGOs signed the following statement, condemning the repression and expressing their solidarity.

* * *

Statement by Ukrainian Feminists in Solidarity with Iranian Women

We, Ukrainian feminists, express our solidarity with Iranian uprising, triggered by the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian moral police. Thousands of women responded to this crime by going out on the streets, cutting their hair and publicly taking off and burning hijabs as a symbol of their oppression.

What started as a protest against police brutality and obligatory hijab, quickly transformed into a general resistance of the Iranian people against the patriarchal and dictatorial mullah regime and the authoritarian form of capitalism that it represents. The grassroot mobilization is today being joined by schoolgirls, students, trade unions, ethnic minorities and people from other social groups affected by the economic crises, high food prices, social cuts and privatisation. This new wave of struggles thus continues and expands the series of uprisings against socio-economic inequalities, political oppression and ethnic discrimination that shook Iran during the last decade. 

Slogans “Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator” have been spreading from Iranian Kurdistan all over the country and to squares all over the world. Crossing the boundaries of social groups and classes, this wave of resistance holds the figure of an Iranian woman in its center — the one who struggles for her own and others’ lives. We express our support of the protesters’ demands, including:

  • Change of dictatorial regime and democratization of political life;
  • Reduction of socio-economic inequality, development of social protection, guarantee and respect of labor rights;
  • Women’s autonomy over their bodies and lives, including right for women to choose whether or not to wear hijab;
  • Justice and protection against violence in public and private spaces.

The popular uprising in Iran is facing severe repression. Hundreds of demonstrators have already been murdered, wounded or arrested. But the Iranian state is not only oppressing its own citizens. It also provides support for other oppressive and imperialist regimes. During the last few weeks, Iranian drones employed by the Russian army have killed tens of civilians and destroyed countless housing and critical infrastructure objects in Ukraine. The fight of the Iranian people for their own freedom is also a fight for the freedom and the security of ordinary Ukrainians.

For eight months now, Ukrainian men and women have been resisting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s imperialist aggression. Iranians continue to struggle against their own dictatorial, ultraconservative regime and elite-profiting economy. 

Freedom for Iran! Freedom for Ukraine! All together we will win!

[Sign the statement here.]

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