I am an Iranian woman …
… and like many of my fellow Iranians, I am now living in a Western country trying to fit into a society which is vastly different to my own. Ever since I can remember, I have watched my country fall deeper into a perpetual cycle of despair with the hopes of one day regaining the formal glory that once stood prior to the Iranian Revolution 43 years ago. The regime forced mandatory religion as a way to control, suppress and justify their horrific actions against our people. People have lost their voices, safety, and rights of being free individual. Since their rule, people have been locked away, beaten, and killed when they refused to conform. The regime has even re-written school history books. All these years they have tried to lie to the world and show we are free.
This has led to a mass migration of Iranians to move across the globe with the hopes of having a better life. Despite having one of the weakest passports in the world, Iranians have gone to many lengths to leave Iran and their loved ones behind, not by choice, to live a normal life. Our people have tried to stand up several times to the Islamic regime, but they have been beaten, supressed and murdered for their attempts.
Recently, the world has been gripped by the events of the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who was murdered at the hands of the Morality Police, because, according to them, she wasn’t wearing her hijab ‘correctly’. These actions were one step too far for our people. Mahsa Amini represents every woman in Iran. This could have been anybody’s daughter, mother, sister or even me. Mahsa Amini was a catalyst, she was the last straw of the anger we have hoarded for the past 43 years.
The forced hijab has not been the only way women have been oppressed. According to the Islamic regime’s laws, women have no right to divorce, gain custody of their own child or to have a passport and travel without their husband’s or father’s permission. Iranian women are extremely educated; they make up 65% of university graduates and 70% of STEM graduates.
These women-led protests have grown very quickly throughout the entire country. Despite attempts to silence Iranian citizens by shutting down the Internet and killing them in the streets, they have continued everyday knowing that their future is at stake if they are forced to continue living under the current dictatorship. The regime has controlled mass media since their rule, shunted external influences and closed global relations in the hopes it will allow for easier control. It is the irony that over 4 million Iranians migrated because of the tyrant rule which has led to us having a new voice. They might have control over the citizens’ voices, but they can no longer control us as people. As Iranian people, we will speak on behalf of our fellow Iranians who are being suppressed.