A demonstrator shouts slogans during a protest against the Islamic Republic, following the death of Mahsa Amini, near the Iranian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 11, 2022.

Amnesty Joins Afghan and Iranian Women Against Gender Apartheid

Wednesday, 06/19/2024

Rights group Amnesty International has joined an Afghan and Iranian women's gender apartheid campaign amid continued nationwide oppression in the two Islamic regimes.

The group says it aims to strengthen efforts against “institutionalized regimes of systematic oppression and domination imposed on the grounds of gender.”

Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said on Tuesday.“Generations upon generations of women and girls, the world over, have been subjected to institutionalized and systematic violence, domination and oppression. Incalculable numbers have been killed, with many more denied dignity, freedom, and equality in their daily lives."

The concept of gender apartheid emerged from Afghan women's human rights defenders and allies in response to the Taliban's suppression of women's rights in the 1990s.

The impact of the Iranian movement joining the campaign was especially pronounced after Iranian women protested against compulsory hijab laws which have seen brutal crackdowns by morality police, including the deaths of women including Mahsa Amini. Her death in September 2022 led to months-long nationwide demonstrations during which time, over 550 protesters were killed, including many minors.

Now, Afghan and Iranian activists have joined forces to elevate gender apartheid to a recognized crime comparable to racial apartheid.

Women such as Iranian-American dissident activist Masih Alinejad, have played a pivotal role in amplifying and broadening the campaign's reach.She has been the subject of multiple assassination attempts abroad by the regime as it continues to target dissidents both at home and on foreign soil.

“The hijab became a tool in the hands of the Islamic Republic to control the whole society through women. The mullahs are writing their ideologies on our bodies,” Alinejad told American philosopher Sam Harris in his podcast episode titled Gender Apartheid and the Future of Iran.

In 2021, the US Department of Justice pressed conspiracy charges against Iranian agents for their foiled attempt to abduct Alinejad in New York and transport her to Iran. Subsequently, in 2023, additional charges were filed by the Justice Department regarding a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by the Iranian regime targeting her.

In 2023, TIME named Alinejad one of the Women of the Year, and she was elected President of the World Liberty Congress.

"In the 21st century, gender apartheid remains absent from international legal frameworks," remarked Alinejad at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit last month. "Women from Afghanistan and Iran implore world leaders to expand the definition of apartheid to encompass gender discrimination."

According to the 2023 Global Gender Gap Report by the Global Economic Forum, Iran ranks 143rd among 146 countries regarding gender equality.

"The bottom of both regional and global rankings feature Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan," noted the report.

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