Return to Main Article: Iranian Women Today - Fighting Two Enemies

This statement was written in response to a call from Iranian women for people in the US to “act in solidarity and support us in our difficult fight against our two enemies who are part of the same matrix: the Islamic Republic of Iran and US Imperialism…”* It was sent to Iranian women marching in Europe on March 8, 2008.

International Women’s Day 2008
We Stand With Iranian Women

On International Women's Day, March 8, 2008, we women in the US are proud to stand with Iranian women who are fighting on two fronts: against the anti-woman oppression of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the war threats of the U.S. government.

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A Sacrificial Light

Self-Immolation in Tajrish Square, Tehran
By Martha Shelley
ISSUE: FALL 1994

"MY SISTER ENDED HER LIFE AS AN ACT OF PROTEST against the way the Islamic Republic is treating Iranian women, especially the educated ones." Parvin Darabi talks softly, as though the Persian tongue has sanded over the rough edges of English. But her voice wells up with passion when she speaks of conditions in her native land.

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When a woman is lashed, our bodies, too, feel pain. When a woman is stoned, our own blood is spilled. What happens to any of our sisters, whatever patriarchal horror is inflicted in Iran or anywhere, affects all of us. When one woman is degraded, silenced, abused, or murdered, all women are harmed.

At this time when US war and occupation is devastating the Middle East, including destroying the lives of countless women and children, and is threatening Iran, we declare our determination to oppose imperialist war moves, at the same time as we support your resistance to anti-woman laws and practices in the Islamic Republic. History shows that the U.S. is all too ready to accommodate and encourage Islamic fundamentalists when it suits its interests, as the reality in Iraq and Afghanistan today shows, even while it hypocritically professes concern for women as justification for attacking at other times.

Much is at stake for women - and men - today in the world, and we have much to learn from the Iranian women rallying in Europe on International Women’s Day who are refusing to choose between oppressors and are determined to liberate themselves to bring another future into being.

As Iranian women gather in Europe and in Iran this International Women’s Day 2008, we in the U.S. salute and stand with you!

Eleanor J. Bader, teacher & writer, Brooklyn, NY
Jennifer Baumgardner, writer
Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University
Blanche Weisen Cook, journalist, biographer, CUNY professor
Clare Coss, playwright, psychotherapist
Ariel Dougherty, media activist
Carol Downer, originator of self-help and board of Feminist Women’s Health Center
Stephanie Gilmore, activist & professor, Hartford, CT
Mary Lou Greenberg, activist & writer, Revolution newspaper
Helen Hardacre, Reischauer Professor Japanese Religions & Society, Harvard University
Merle Hoffman, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief On The Issues magazine, President Choices Women's Medical Center
Bea Kreloff, activist, artist
Fran Luck, Producer, Joy of Resistance, WBAI radio, NYC
Lucinda Marshall, Founder, Feminist Peace Network
Claire G. Moses, Professor, University of Maryland
Katha Pollitt, writer
Edith Isaac Rose, activist, artist
Bianca Gatchell Rucker, attorney
Alix Kates Shulman, writer
Linda Stein, artist, activist
Amy Swerdlow, historian, writer, NGO rep
Jacqui Ceballos, President, Veteran Feminists of America
Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime
Zhaleh Sahand, political activist, Houston, TX
Victoria RW, Georgia
Mohsen Nejad, political activist
Lindmuth Fuller, Helping Afghan Women Project
Jan Cleary
Martha Baker
Judith S. Weiss, biologist, Rutgers professor
Carol Gould, Director, Center for Global Ethics & Politics, Temple University
Rosalyn Baxandall, Chair American Studies/Media & Communications, SUNY Old Westbury
Pat Fineran Cervelli, medical social worker, activist
Liz Rich, writer & researcher
Liz Abzug, consultant/professor
Esther Gelbard, Treasurer of the ERA Campaign Network.
Marion Rudin Frank, Ed.D., psychologist, Philadelphia, PA
Nancy Lister, activist, educator, archaeologist
Anne Grant, writer
Kate Swift, writer & political activist
Shiela Michaels, independent scholar
Michele Ceballos Michot, director, Opendance, Phoenix, AZ
Martha Nilsson Edelheit, artist
Ann O'Shea, family court judge
Ann Snitow, The Network of East-West Women
Jane Woodward Elioseff, writer/editor, Houston, TX
Jennifer Fasulo, activist, writer
Frieda Werden, Vancouver BC, Canada
Elayne Snyder, speech coach, teacher, writer
Peggy Dobbins, artist, retired sociologist
Rebecca Chalker, author and activist, Adjunct Professor of Women's and Gender Studies Pace University, NY NY
Sanovia Muhammad, Strong Women Comin'
Sherry Rogers, Activist Feminist ERA Supporter and member Brooklyn Queens NOW
Barbara Rubin, Ph.D., academic and feminist activist
Ann Sperry, Sculptor
Beverly Gologorsky, writer
Rosalie Maggio, writer
Barbara S. Bryant, mediator, law professor
Cynthia Rich, author and activist
Jennifer Young, Nurse Practitioner
Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, Women's Space, writer, blogger, and activist
Suzanne Messing, writer, activist
Jay Becker, Chicago, USA
Jennifer Whitaker
Mary Ann Rossi, Independent Scholar and Activist
Helga Castle
Dr. Ann Sutherland Harris, University of Pittsburgh
Annie Loyd, independent thinking, independent acting candidate US Congress District 3 Arizona
Nancy Williamson, Baltimore, MD retired psychotherapist and teacher feminist, human and animal rights activist, writer
Ethelyn Honig, artist
Jennifer J. L. Timmons, Delaware, USA
Laura X, archivist and activist
Kathryn Scarbrough, feminist, professor
Roberta Settles, industrial designer
Evelyn Harris, writer, sociologist
Judith Ezekial, professor Women's Studies and American Studies, Wright State University, Universite de Toulouse le Mirail
Francie Hunt, Women of Color Caucus of the Women’s Liberation Mvt, Nashville, TN
Marion Banzhaf , New York, NY
Kathie Sarachild, Project Director, Redstockings Women's Liberation Archives for Action
Eric Ribellarsi, Houston Revolution Club
Michele Erwin
Reiko Redmonde
Carl J. Nigro, Vista, CA.
Nancy Lind
Luba Fineson, member, Veteran Feminists of America, Activist Feminist since 1972
Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ
Mary Daly, Radical Feminist Philosopher and Author

(Please add your name, a brief identifier, and email to StandWithWomen2008@yahoo.com)

*See www.8mars.com for call from Iranian women, “Let us Celebrate Our Fighting Unity on International Women’s Day.”
Also see http://www.karzar-zanan.com/english.html



Enough Waiting

No! Now is the Time to Do Battle

Singer Gissoo Shakeri and poet Mina Assadi, both of whose works are banned in the Islamic Republic of Iran, created what has become the signature song of the Campaign for Abolition of All Misogynist Gender-Based Legislation and Islamic Punitive Laws in Iran (www.karzar-zanan.com). In 2006 the Campaign sponsored a march through five European cities, culminating in The Hague on International Women's Day. Gissoo's soaring voice was unforgettable--whether broadcast during the march from the sound truck, in evening performances, or leading us all (including the few non-Farsi speakers) in song during the bus rides between cities. Gissoo was born in Iran in 1953 and has lived in Sweden since 1988. Her work is available at www.Gissoo.com.

A video with the song can be seen by clicking here. A translation of the song follows.

****

Through the cracks of closed doors
I watched a bird fly.
I lay in a house of despair.
I heard fortune walking out.
I was captive of the dark night.
I saw moons coming and going.
I asked myself, what kind of life is this?
Enough waiting.
No! Now is the time to do battle.

We saw a woman in love
Condemned to death and stoned.
We saw the laborer on the ground
And capital riding on his back.
We saw the hungry baby crying,
Sad and miserable.
We saw the sapling of dreams
Wilt yellow with no spring.
We asked ourselves, what kind of life is this?
Enough waiting.
No! Now is the time to do battle.

As long as we are chained
Capital, ignorance and religion will reign.
Did not that young sar-be-dar
Want only freedom?
We asked ourselves, what kind of life is this?
Enough waiting.
No! Now is the time to do battle.

****

Words: Mina Assadi; Music: Mohamad Shams; Singer: Gissoo Shakeri

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