Peyman Viyan, a member of the Free Women Association of Kurdistan, talked with the Euphrates news agency about the uprisings of the past two years and the pioneering role of Iranian women in protests.
“The political and economic crisis that Iran is dealing with has greatly affected the people of Iran, especially women” she said at the beginning of her speech about the role of women and the impact of the economic crisis on women in Iran. “Since many years the Iranian regime has deprived women of political and economic participation and did not allow women to have the political or economic independence. “
She pointed to Iran’s policies on women and said: “By limiting natural human rights, Iran restricted those women who opposed to this system and forced them into submission. The regime forced women to accept the patriarchal mentality. They lead women to immoral paths, which has led to the phenomenon of prostitution.”
“Iranian women have special characteristics, one of which that they do not give in to pressure.” For the last forty years, despite the fact that there was a lot of pressure on women, women did not surrender. They failed to break the will of women, which is why in recent years, Women have been protesting and were calling for their rights. For these reasons, a number of women’s political women are now in prison, and despite all the pressures, they emphasize on their demands. “
“At the moment, dozens of women are in prisons, on the charge of demanding their basic rights. Over the past few years, women have played a pioneering role in protests, and they are giving a clear message to the regime: The mysogynistic rules set up by the regime cannot be the solution. “
“Women in the Middle East have played a greater role in recent years, especially in the Kurdistan region of Rojava, which have resulted in Iranian women to believe in themselves. If women rebel the misogyny, the society will be empowered, and will and power of women worries the Iranian regime”
Referring to the recent two-year protests by Iranian women for the removal of the Hijab Law, Peyman emphasized that this is the primary right of women to decide what they wish to wear. After the regime came to power, as the first act they enforced Hijab on women. Women’s art and sports were banned. Whereas this is a natural right, not a political demand. However, to the regime, demanding a natural right equates to a political demand. When women demand their rights, they find themselves treated as those who stand against the regime. Right now Narges Mohammadi is being tortured in prison because she requested to end the forced veiling of women. We, as members of Free Women of Kurdistan, consider such demands as a natural right and opposing the misogynistic rules of the regime as part of our struggle. We are aware that the Iranian regime is fundamentally against women, and although it appears to be praising woman as lip-service, in reality, the system is based on anti-woman rules.
“Our struggles should be against the laws of Iran. According to Iranian law, women are prevented from participation in culture, sports, and the arts. Furthermore, the law permits the marriage of a man with a female child. For this reason, our fundamental task must be to combat these laws. We will also continue our struggle against patriotism and paternalism both of which are prevailed in Iran. “
“Thousands of Iranian women are currently being tortured in detainment” she said. The Islamic Republic of Iran aims to violate the fundamental rights of women so that women’s organizations are kept busy with minor requests instead of their basic rights. The goal is to contain the women’s demands to issue of Hijab. In reality however, the issue of women originates from the classical mentality of Velayat-e faqih or Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist.”
This member of Kajar (Free Women of Kurdistan) further noted that women in the Middle East and Iran need to defend themselves because they are targeted intellectually and physically. If they do not have the power of self-defense and self-organization in this age, they will not be able to stand against the dominant mentality in Iran.
In her speech, Peyman spoke about two points as the essential needs of the women’s liberation struggle in Iran;
1- Self-organization and Women’s Alliance.
2. Setting up a women’s advocacy force.
Self-defense does not mean just to take up arms. If women can organize themselves and manage to advance their scientific level, that also is a form of self-defense. Today, women are physically killed or tortured, so it’s a duty for women to take up arms. We must assemble the military force of women. Just as ISIL attacked women and women defended themselves and fought against ISIS, now in Iran, we need women’s advocacy against the regime’s misogynistic mentality.
At the end of her speech, Payman noted that our struggles are not only for Kurdish women but for all women of Iran. We, as the Free Women of Kurdistan, want to embrace all women as defending every Iranian woman is our duty. In Iran, women have been massacred, tortured, but never surrendered to the regime. Women have never lost their will. Women, despite all the dangers and imprisonment, demand freedom. This is why all of us, whether in the mountains, in the parliament or among the community, stand united and win the struggles of women.