How Women are Helping to Fight Islamic Extremism

By Iran News Update, Special for  USDR

Women’s unity is a determining factor in defeating Islamic fundamentalism with “misogyny as its main attribute,” Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said at a conference in Berlin on  Sunday.

Women from Muslim countries comprised a majority of conference attendants, held on the occasion of International Women’s Day, celebrated March 8. But women’s delegations from the US, Canada, and Europe also took part in and addressed the  conference.

The Iranian opposition leader cited several measures by the Iranian regime as crimes and systematic discrimination against women inIran, and said the status of women in Iran has deteriorated in recent  years.

Iran has been ruled by a theocracy since February 1979, following the overthrow of the Shah. After the election of Hassan Rouhani as president in June 2013, the West expected an improved situation for women, but that has not happened, according to human rights  organizations.

The UN Secretary General reported to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2015 that “according to the Global Gender Gap Index for 2014 of the World Economic Forum, the Islamic Republic of Iran ranked no. 137 out of 142  countries.”

Rajavi described misogyny as “the core of the suppression of the whole society” and called it “a lever to preserve the monopolistic dominion of the velayat-e faqih (rule of  clergy).”

According to Rajavi’s assessment, Tehran will not let up on women because “if they show any leniency in compulsory veiling or modify any of their laws and policies that oppress women, the latter’s power will quickly advance and mobilize the whole society.”  She called women’s demands and perseverance “the main challenge to the ruling  regime.”

A metallurgic engineer by training, Rajavi, who resides in Paris, said that despite severe oppression, the Iranian women have not succumbed, and strive for a regime change. The Iranian women play a key role in the Iranian resistance. She cited in particular Camp Liberty, Iraq, where thousands of the members of the Iranian resistance  reside.

The Iranian opposition leader had addressed a major international conference in Berlin on Saturday against Islamic fundamentalism and for tolerance and equality and in support of democratic Islam as the antithesis of Islamic extremism. According to German media tens of thousands of people took part in the gathering. Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York; Bernard Kouchner, the former French foreign minister, and Dr. Rita Sussmuth, former president of the German Bundestag, were among the prominent speakers at the Saturday  event.

SOURCE Iran News  Update

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