In an open letter to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, fourteen women’s rights activists called on him to step down and pave the way for a transition to a new political system for Iran.
Referring to a similar demand made by fourteen political activists last month, the signatories of the new letter published on August 5 also protested against what they described as “gender apartheid” and “the patriarchal approach”. dominating the country.
“Four decades of this theocracy has eliminated the rights of half the population of the country,” the women’s rights activists said, calling for “civil and non-violent measures” to get out of “this anti-women system” and compose a new Constitution for Iran.
Giti Pourfazel, a lawyer, who is one of the signatories in Iran, told Radio Farda in an interview on Tuesday that fourteen women signed the letter and “twenty million other Iranian women could be counted as the fifteenth signatory.” .
The fourteen activists all reside in Iran, which makes their action extremely dangerous for their freedom and security.
Insisting on the need for a new system of political government for the country, the signatories of the letter affirmed that they would continue their campaign against the current situation until the end.
“We, fourteen civil rights and women’s rights activists, are determined to continue our fight until victory through civil and non-violent measures. Like other pioneers [of non-violent freedom fighters]we go ahead chanting “no to the Islamic Republic”, the letter said.
Pourfazel also said that women in Iran have endured 40 years of discrimination and added, “We cannot tolerate this level of discrimination any longer.”
Furthermore, the letter singled out “systemic tyranny and irresponsibility” as the main cause of Iran’s problems and the current chaotic situation in the country.
“In a world where women in most countries walk alongside men in science, economics, culture, arts and politics, under the Islamic Republic, women are still fighting for their fundamental rights,” the letter said.
Nosrat Beheshti, Shahla Entesari, Zahra Jamali, Shahla Jahanbin, Ezzat Javadi Hessar, Nargess Mansouri, Farangis Mazloum, Kimia Norouzi Saber, Parva Pachideh, Guiti Pour Fazel, Fatemeh Sepehri, Maryam Soleimani, Sussan Taherkhani and Fereshteh Tasvibi are the signatories of the letter.
Pourfazel also spoke about an aspect of discrimination against women, which is the ban on attending football matches. The issue has become hot again in the country after the international football association, FIFA, reportedly gave Iran a deadline to end the practice and allow women unimpeded access to stadiums.
Islamic Republic intelligence agents have already arrested at least two of the signatories, but have so far taken no action against the signing of this letter.
The women concluded their letter by calling on the nation of Iran to join them in chanting “No to the Islamic Republic”.