Perspectives | Iranian Women Raise Voices against War and Sanctions
by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI (translator)
13 Mar 2012 16:55
[ comment ] Translator's note: The Campaign for One Million Signatures is a feminist movement that was founded on August 28, 2006, by Iranian defenders of women's rights, including freedom from discrimination. Its goals include (a) promotion of collaboration and cooperation for social change, (b) identification of women's needs and priorities, (c) amplifying women's voices, and (d) increasing knowledge and promoting democratic action. The campaign has been praised worldwide, and has been given many international awards for its anti-discrimination efforts; at the same time, many of its leaders and other members have been harassed and even jailed.
Over the past several months the drumbeats urging war against Iran have become very loud, a subject that I first discussed in July 2010 and revisited this past October. Speculation about possible military attacks on Iran is now a constant in the media. While some pundits dismiss the possibility of war, at least in the near future, and others think that it is likely, the tough economic sanctions that have been imposed on Iran by the United States and its allies have contributed significantly to the everyday distress of the Iranian people. On March 8, International Women's Day, Campaign activists raised their strong and eloquent voices to oppose any war with Iran under any excuse. The following statement was posted on the Campaign's official website, where it is accompanied by 13 video clips, each with an individual member speaking out against war. -- Muhammad Sahimi
War does not happen overnight. War does not necessarily happen when bombs are dropped on our cities. Even the shadow of the war is terrifying. The war shadow also changes the lives of us, the women. Every day that we may live in a war, or in warlike conditions, we would be concerned about the death of the achievements in our struggle for equality. To us, war means destructive violence against women and children, means more crackdown, means silencing our demands and our civil protests.... We still have not cleansed ourselves from the dust of the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, and our nation is being threatened with another war.
War is not just bombs and destroyed homes. Today, even before the war, the lives of women have become more difficult. War is staring at us women and is getting closer step by step.
We do not want to be the victims of this monster. On this day, March 8, 2012, without having any opportunity for joy or expressing our demands on streets, we use this day as our occasion to declare that we are opposed to war, and each of us expresses [in the accompanying clips] the reason why. Join us to have a stronger and louder voice against those who use any excuse to greet the war with a smile.
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