Striving for Emancipation Around the World:

International Women's Day 2019

| Revolution Newspaper |


March 8, Los Angeles—A very revolutionary and militant march celebrated International Women’s Day—calling on people to join and support the rebellion of Iranian women against the mandatory wearing of the hijab. The marchers—chanting slogans in Farsi and English—started from Westwood Village near the UCLA campus, and marched through parts of Tehrangeles, an area of Farsi-speaking people and Iranian businesses. A small contingent of Iranians came from other cities. An especially rousing moment was when the Los Angeles Revolution Club marched in formation to join the protest.

From the CALL for the march, which was issued by an underground women’s collective in Iran: “March 8, 2019 marks 40 years since the uprising of women against the Islamic Republic ‘Hijab Decree.’ In this year, we are also marking the first anniversary of the uprising of dispossessed masses and the impressive revolt of women against the hijab, popularly known as the ‘Women of Revolution Street.’... We call upon all women and men involved in different social movements to join and defend our struggle for an unconditional abolition of mandatory hijab, and Sharia laws, as well as uprooting women’s oppression of all kinds. Without the emancipation of women, none of us is free.”

Revolution Club, Los Angeles, March 8

Iranian Lawyer Thrown into the Theocratic Regime’s Dungeons—for Defending Women Who Dared to Remove Hijab

Nasrin Sotoudeh

There is a courageous revolt by women in Iran against the reactionary theocratic regime’s decades-old “Hijab Decree,” under which women are required to cover their heads in public, or face imprisonment and other punishment. Photos that spread on social media last January showed women without their hijab defiantly standing on platforms on the streets in Teheran and other cities. These protests against the hijab law are known among the people in Iran as “Women of Revolution Street.”

Now, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a woman lawyer who has courageously defended these hijab protestors against the regime’s repression, has herself been thrown into the notorious Evin Prison, convicted of “national security” crimes. The Center for Human Rights in Iran reports that Sotoudeh “has been jailed since June 2018 when she was detained in part for representing women in a court of law who had been arrested for peacefully protesting the state’s compulsory hijab law.” According to her husband, Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh was tried in absentia last December—she refused to appear in court in protest of the unjust proceedings and because she was denied the right to choose her own lawyer. Khandan himself was sentenced to six years in prison this January, in part for posting updates about his wife’s case on Facebook.

The regime has not made clear which specific charges Sotoudeh was convicted of, but according to Amnesty Reports, she faces 34 years in prison and 148 lashes from the recent conviction and an earlier trial. In addition to defending women arrested for defying the mandatory hijab law, Sotoudeh had also spoken out against the move to force defendants facing political charges to choose from a list of lawyers approved by the regime.

As a recent statement issued by an underground women’s collective in Iran (“Support the Revolt of Iranian Women against Forced Hijab” said: “We consider the struggle against the forced hijab as a global struggle against all forms of patriarchal oppression and degradation of women by Islamic fundamentalist states and groups in the Middle East and North Africa and all over the world. This is a global struggle against male supremacy, racism and sexism by all of the capitalist imperialist states, fundamentalism, Christian fascism, and right wing political forces throughout the world.”

Hamburg, Germany, March 6.

Berlin, Germany, March 8. The banner in German says “Humanity Needs Revolution and the New Communism!”

Berlin, Germany, March 8. The banner says, in Farsi and German, “We support the revolt of Iranian women against forced hijab.”

Iranian women in Tehran, Iran, without hijabs, March 8, 2019. The banner reads:
Photo: video grab


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