International Women’s Day 2023

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International Women’s Day 2023

Today, on International Women’s Day, WLUML stands in solidarity with women human rights defenders who have lost their lives or freedom over the past year. We extend our strength to women facing hardship in the face of natural disasters or systemic discrimination. And, we thank all people who have acted in the interest of gender equality and against gender discrimination.

In Iran, hundreds of protesters remain in detention suffering inhumane conditions and in fear of the death penalty. Women, men, and Iran’s youth, gathered in the streets under the banner of ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ demanding change and the end to the State sanctioned violence against women that killed Masha Amini in September 2022. Women’s human rights and minority rights defenders who remained in Afghanistan, including Zaynab Rahimi and Zarifa Yaghoubi, are being detained by the Taliban.

Last month’s earthquake caused destruction in Turkey, Syria, and Kurdistan. And, a year after the devastating floods in Pakistan, humanitarian need remains critical. Following natural disasters, women are at particular risk: pregnant women without access to healthcare face greater risks from complications, female households face greater economic vulnerability, and natural disasters are linked to increased triggers for violence against women and girls (VAWG). We ask, if you are able, to consider donating to the earthquake humanitarian efforts. Please see the recommendations from our network.

This month, WLUML is launching the campaign ‘Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan: Women’s struggle for dignity’ in support of the women of Afghanistan and their demands for gender equality and gender justice. Women’s full, unhindered, and equal participation in society, and their equal access to education and employment, is crucial for Afghanistan’s future. We urge the international community to recognise the Taliban’s systematic policies, informed by their misogynistic ideology, as 21st century gender apartheid. The restricted access to education and work, along with harassment and travel bans inhibiting freedom of movement, breach the human rights of women in Afghanistan on a daily basis.

Iranian women and civil society are in the process of developing a road map for the future nation, bolstered by the strong evidence the nation is ready for and demanding political change. They are in process of drafting a women’s charter and Bill of Rights. After one hundred years of struggle for their rights, Iranian women are no longer prepared to compromise their status. They must be recognised as equal and rights bearing citizens. We at WLUML
support their struggle and wish them success.

In solidarity,

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)