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Support the Uprising of Women in Iran Against 40 Years of Forced Hijab!

On March 8, 2019


Support the Uprising of Women in Iran Against 40 Years of Forced Hijab!

Fight against women's oppression and patriarchy globally!


In an important Call, underground women activists in Iran have asked for international solidarity with the struggle of women against the forced hejab. This call is supported by Iranian revolutionary workers, artists, teachers, and students.


This year marks the 40th anniversary of Iranian women’s uprising against the Islamic regime’s decree to impose the hejab on women. The “Hejab Decree” inaugurated the rise to power of a fascist theocratic regime in Iran. The Islamic State introduced sharia law which governs all aspects of private and public life, including the age of marriage, child custody, inheritance, access to education and employment, travel, and sexuality. In short, women’s bodies and rights were governed by the harsh and violent rule of sharia law.


Women staged a six-day revolt against the mandatory hijab and raised nationwide concerns about the patriarchal and reactionary nature of the new regime. Their slogan was, “We did not make revolution to go backwards!” The Islamic State used its populist misogynist propaganda machinery against the rebellious women and labeled their resistance as “Western”! Women responded powerfully, “Women’s Liberation is Universal! It is neither Western nor Eastern!”


For 40 years now, tens of thousands of women have been arrested, imprisoned, tortured, battered, and harassed for resisting the forced hejab. It is very important to note that Iranian women are announcing: “Our fight against the forced hejab is a fight against all forms of oppression and patriarchy around the world.”


Indeed, women are oppressed all over the world – even if the forms of this oppression may vary according to the different domination and social relationships involved. Whatever privileges women (and people in general) in the western countries might enjoy due to the fact that these countries are on the top end of the imperialist food chain, it remains the case that women everywhere need emancipation! For example, violence against women in Germany is not limited to the individual hideous cases that wind up in the headlines. Millions and millions of women and children face patriarchal violence which casts a dark veil over their lives and destroys their souls – every day, every hour, every minute. On the average, three women are murdered by their (ex-)partners every week! Every single day, an estimated 1.2 million men in this country buy “sexual services”. The global sex industry is worth billions. The fact that large parts of the society are scarcely offended by this, and none of the bourgeois parties even raise a demand to make any drastic changes to this situation, reveals how every pore of this society is drenched in patriarchal relationships, and this is a fierce indictment of the ruling capitalist imperialist system!


In many countries of Europe (and beyond), established bourgeois representatives of the existing order are fighting with growing fascist forces over who has the “correct” answer to the crisis of the ruling system which both of these sides represent and which they seek to preserve. The strengthening of forces such as the AfD is in fact also a reaction to changes which have been going on in the last few decades with regard to the role of women in these societies and are seen as a threat to the “natural” privileges and status of men. Under the banner of struggle against a “gender ideology”, any questioning of traditional gender roles whatsoever is attacked (while at the same time, AfD & Co. claim in a racist manner that sexism is only a kind of imported article from Moslem countries). It is urgently necessary to combat decisively each and every attack on achievements that have been gained through the struggle of women over the past decades. But this struggle should not simply wind up defending the status quo – a status quo which already means an unending nightmare for countless women.


Without the complete emancipation of women, there can be no emancipation of humanity.

In their recent Call, the Women in Iran write:


“The emancipation of women concerns the whole of humanity.  … A few thousand years ago, women’s oppression emerged with the rise of private property and exploitation. Today, patriarchal and male supremacist relations have their roots in the functioning of capitalist relations of production, which also produces all of the other problems we face, including imperialist wars and the destruction of environment. Therefore, we want a world without exploitation, discrimination, oppression and repression, war, and the destruction of the environment. We want a society that considers – not only every woman – but every human being regardless of their gender, race, identity, nationality, and beliefs to be a full human being. In the society we imagine and are striving for, everybody would have equal possibilities to fulfill their potentials and dreams. A society in which the blossoming of each is required for the blossoming of all.”


Yes indeed! To make this dream a reality we need a communist revolution everywhere. Humanity needs New Communism which declares: The future of women – half of humanity – is being fiercely battled out. This fight is completely bound up with the fight for the future of all of humanity. And the struggle of women in Iran is an essential part of this struggle, which deserves our full support!


Supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Manifesto Group (Europe)


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