Egyptian activists: We must take action for Iranian women

Reacting to the killing of 16-year-old Armita Geravand by Iran’s morality police, Egyptian activists called on all women to take action for Iranian women against the oppressive regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Cairo- 16-year-old Armita Garawand, who was hospitalized after being physically attacked by Iran’s morality police officers at Tehran Metro on October 1 for not complying with the compulsory “hijab”, died at Fajr Hospital on October 28. Egyptian activists and feminists spoke to NuJINHA about the oppressive policies faced by women in Iran.

‘They receive little international support’

Jawaher Taher, lawyer and head of the Access to Justice Program at the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance Foundation, said that gender-based violence cases have increased globally, noting that Iran is one of the countries where women's rights are constantly violated. “Violence against women in Iran has increased because of the compulsory hijab that suppresses and rejects women’s freedom. The continuation of violence and oppression against women in Iran means that they receive little international support.”

‘Campaigns made an overwhelming impression’

Jawaher Taher thinks other countries should put pressure on Iran to end rights violations against women. Speaking about the international campaigns launched by Arab and Iranian feminists, she said, “These campaigns made an overwhelming impression in Egypt and Iran. Such campaigns should be launched more because they reveal what has been happening in Iran.”

‘There is a need for an opposition movement’

Nasima al-Khatib, lawyer and founder of the Sanad, an Egyptian initiative fighting gender-based violence, confirmed that femicide cases in public spaces in Egypt and a number of measures were taken to protect women and achieve justice for killed women. “However, the situation in Iran is different because the perpetrators of the crimes committed against women are police and Iranian authorities. Women living in Iran still face an oppressive regime and violence. There is a need for an opposition movement that changes the reality of women and takes measures to protect women so that women can enjoy their freedom.”

Nasima al-Khatib called on women in Egypt and all around the world to “make efforts to ensure a better reality for women in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan.”

 ‘Crimes against women spark our anger’

Feminist journalist Hajar Kamal told NuJINHA that crimes against women by Islamic Republic of Iran spark their anger. Recalling that Armita Geravand was just a 16-year-old student, she said, “The criminals were the police officers, who had to protect individuals. The reasons for her killing were inhumane and against human rights. Using violence until she went into a coma is a crime. Forcing women to wear hijab is a violation of human rights. Women have the right to wear whatever they want. Women have the right to decide about their bodies. The international community must take urgent action to prevent the Iranian regime from committing crimes against women.”

Speaking about the dangerous situation faced by women and girls in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan, she said, “The world must rise up to save the lives of girls from this oppressive regime. Feminists have an important role in the fight against these oppressive authorities that violate human rights and especially women's rights. Urgent action must be taken for Iranian women, who are shackled by the restrictions of the ruling authority.”