Maryam Rajavi to Iranian women on International Women's Day:
For freedom and equality, you must rise, fight, and win!

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance's President-elect, called on her women compatriots to defy and resist the mullahs' misogynous regime. In a message on the International Women's Day, Mrs. Rajavi said women must play their "significant" role in the overthrow of the theocracy ruling Iran, particularly by joining the National Liberation Army. She told her fellow Iranians: "For freedom and equality, you must rise, fight and win them."

Mrs. Rajavi pointed to the spread of illiteracy, prostitution, poverty, suicide and self immolation among women in Iran and said: The official age of marriage for girls is nine years according to the mullahs' laws. Yet, if the vali-e faqih (supreme leader) approves, girls under the age of nine can also be married to men! Women's share in employment is no more than nine per cent and they bear the brunt of economic hardships. The regime's officials admit that there are five million addicts in Iran today. Two million women are engaged in prostitution.

Mrs. Rajavi added: Khatami, the mullahs' new President, who heads the Council on Cultural Revolution, formally opposed and prevented the regime from becoming a signatory to the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a move that once again exposed the deceptive nature of the mullahs' propaganda ploys on women and their rights. The criminal mullahs are the worst enemies of Islam and Muslims, but they stone women and execute them in public, force them into wearing the veil and arrest them on the streets under the banner of Islam, just to preserve their evil rule. These crimes have nothing to do with Islam, a religion of compassion, emancipation and equality.

The Iranian Resistance's President-elect pointed out that more than 50% of the members of the Parliament-in-exile, the National Council of Resistance, are women and that women hold key positions and the leadership of the movement in all the political, military and organizational arenas. She said: For a long time now, division of labor between men and women has been a thing of the past in the Resistance movement. She added: Thanks to this glorious Resistance, this is the day of pride and honor for Iran's women and a day of disgrace for the mullahs' regime with its 19 years' catalogue of atrocities against Iranian women.

Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that according to the plans adopted by the NCR, in the post-Khomeini era in Iran, women will enjoy complete freedom in marriage, divorce and choice of dress, and are entitled to equal wage and equal access to education and employment, including in all judicial bodies. All forms of inequality including in inheritance, testimony, and taking custody of children must be eliminated. The NCR plans also lay emphasis on welfare support for widows and divorced women and the children under their custody and supervision. They also call for the elimination of all forms of sexual exploitation of women.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 8, 1998

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