Global Feminist Profile: “One Million Signatures”
Global Feminist Profiles highlights feminist leaders all over the world who are creating change and empowering their countrywomen to demand equality.
“One Million Signatures seized every opportunity to show the world that they do not agree with the discriminatory laws in Iran.”-Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and 2008 Glamour Woman of the Year
In 2009, Glamour magazine prepared the honorees for the Women of the Year Campaign. They select women who inspire, lead, and innovate in diverse fields. This year one of the honorees not only inspired me, but reassured my passion for women’s rights and the fight for basic rights. The Campaign “One Million Signatures” demands changes to discriminatory laws against women. The group of women risk their lives and those of their families to make sure basic human needs are met in Iran.
This quest for equality was born on June 12, 2006, when hundreds of protesters gathered in Tehran’s Haft-e-Tir Square to peacefully demonstrate against the legal restrictions they face. The police attacked them with pepper spray and billy clubs; by the end of the day, 70 people had been arrested. “We never imagined we’d be met with so much resistance,” recalls Sussaan Tahmasebi, a Tehran-based campaign member. “Our demands were so basic.”
Iran officials have arrested 50 campaign members and punished them with lashings and solitary confinement. The group website has been shut down 21 times, according to Glamour.
These women inspire, educate, include, and empower other young women to fight for their basic rights and to believe that you can achieve anything if you are willing to put passion behind it.
Nonetheless “some say that the campaign is a struggle, but I found the campaign is a chance,” Azadeh, a 30-year-old artist and activist from Tehran, e-mailed to Glamour. “It’s a chance for us to care about ourselves and change our situation.” –The Women of Iran’s One Million Signatures Campaign-
The quest for equality is still a pressing issue in Iran. Many women are beaten, tortured, and raped based on conservative religious views. Women have decided to fight back by joining campaigns such as this and resisting arrest and lashings. I ask that each of you look into your hearts and sign the petition for “One Million Strong”. These women are brave, intelligent, and inspirational to all who work in Global Health and Women’s Rights movements.
To learn more about the activist, campaign initiatives, and to sign the petition for “One Million Signatures”, please click here.