Why Women’s Liberation?
Organisation for Women’s Liberation (OWL) was built on 14th December 2002 in direct response to the growing women’s movement in Iran for equality and liberation The contemporary history of women’s movement in Iran dates back to the 1979 uprising, when their struggle and aspirations for an equal and just society for all was crushed by the newly empowered Islamic Republic of Iran.
Women were the first social strata of the society to be suppressed by the Islamic regime. The imposition of Islamic laws, such as the compulsory veil, gender segregation in public places, negation of the right to divorce or custody of children for women, and the subsequent punishments for defying these laws, such as arrests, imprisonment, stoning and execution have all made life a hell for millions of women in Iran.
However, what we are witnessing in Iran is the growing women’s movement to combat women’s suppression and humiliation. Women in Iran demand freedom, equality, separation of religion from state, and an end to gender apartheid. OWL belongs to this movement. We regard political Islam as one of the main obstacles in the path of women’s movement for change, especially in the Middle Eastern countries.
Loud and Clear!
The existence of an immense movement for women’s liberation is an undeniable fact of Iranian society!
Women’s freedom is the measure of freedom in society. There is still a great deal left to accomplish in order to eliminate inequality between men and women, not only in Iran where misogyny brutally rules, but in the most advanced societies as well. The Organisation for Women’s Liberation (OWL) sees itself as part of the immense historical and international struggle for women’s liberation.
In Iran, we face an oppressive and Islamic reaction against women. The ruling system in Iran is a system of total gender apartheid. Compulsory veiling, the complete segregation of men and women in every aspect of society, and the treatment of women as disenfranchised and second class citizens are the official laws of the country. Misogyny is the defining characteristic and identity of the ruling order and the share of women from this life is nothing but humiliation, oppression and daily exclusion. Reviving antiquated traditions such as stoning reveals the depth of the naked violence exerted against women.
The dominance of a patriarchal and backward order is not particular to the last three decades. Iranian society suffers from deep-seated patriarchy and misogyny. Efforts of freedom-loving women and organisations to do away with this degrading situation are a part of Iranian history. Right from the Islamic Republic’s early days of coming to power, women’s endeavours to alter this situation were brutally suppressed.
The Islamic Republic was faced with women’s fierce protests right from the early days of its establishment. Despite all the suppression, the struggle of women in Iran to break out of this prison and against disenfranchisement and humiliation has not ceased for a moment. The existence of an immense movement for women’s liberation is an undeniable fact of Iranian society. This movement must be vigorously advanced, armed with a clear platform and focus its energies. By achieving liberation, it will not only do away with the patriarchy and misogyny in Iranian society, but will also have a significant and profound impact on the condition of women in the region and Islam-ridden societies. The Organisation of Women’s Liberation is formed with this purpose.
The OWL’s aim is the unconditional liberation of women and complete equality between women and men in Iran. The OWL, therefore, must fight for the following demands:
- Complete equal rights for women and men; abolition of discriminatory laws, particularly laws in relation to family, marriage, divorce, and parental responsibility for children;
- Abolition of compulsory veiling and freedom of dress;
- Complete abolition of segregation;
- Access to equal resources in education, employment, sports and cultural activities;
- Separation of religion from the state and education.
The unceasing struggle against all patriarchal and misogynist values and perceptions is part of our urgent task. We strive to become the means to unite the broad masses of women and men in Iran to accomplish the above-mentioned demands and organise and lead the powerful movement to liberate women in Iran.
Women, girls, champions of women’s liberation, groups and organisations defending women’s rights in Iran: join the Organisation for Women’s Liberation; together we will fight against women’s disenfranchisement, unrestrained patriarchy and for the liberation of women.
Women´s Liberation – Göteborgs –
Linnè gatan 21 B
413 04 Göteborg
+46 (0) 737262622