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An Open Letter from Global Women Leaders & Advocates Urging UN Member States to Heed the Call of Iranian Women and Remove the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women


In solidarity with Iranian women and girls who are courageously demonstrating for their fundamental human rights, we condemn the brutal violence of security forces against peaceful protesters and echo Iranian women leaders’ call for United Nations Member States to immediately remove the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) from the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). 

A rising toll of protesters, including children, have been killed by Iranian authorities since nationwide protests triggered by the tragic death of 22 year old Mahsa Jina Amini who was arrested and detained by Iran’s ”morality police” for failing to” properly cover her hair and later died in police custody. 

Earlier this year, to the dismay of women’s rights advocates around the world, Iran began a fouryear term on the UN’s 45member Commission on the Status of Women. This preeminent global body is exclusively dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s longstanding, systematic oppression of women should have disqualified them from election to the CSW. For decades, gender inequality and discrimination against women have been legally enshrined in Iran. Under Iran’s Penal Code and other laws and regulations, Iranian women’s rights are severely restricted in marriage, divorce, inheritance and custody. They must comply with the IRI’s mandatory hijab laws from the onset of puberty. 

Because of the Islamic Republic’s appalling record on women’s rights, and in light of the regime’s ongoing, brutal crackdown on protesters, we insist that Iran’s membership to the CSW be revoked. For every day that Iran remains a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, the body loses credibility. 

Member States who sit on the CSW have a duty to uphold its mandate and defend the very values they claim to support. We urge these members to come together in an act of solidarity with Iranian women and girls and heed their call to immediately remove Iran from the CSW. 

Womenled protests across Iran have been met with extreme violence. And yet, Iranian women and girls, and their allies, bravely persist. We support their struggle for fundamental freedoms and call for an immediate end to state violence and the safe release of thousands of detained citizens. 

This is a critical moment for leaders in the international community to vocally and unequivocally demonstrate their support for women’s rights by standing in solidarity with Iranian women and girls. 

Zan. Zendegi. Azadi.
Jin, Jiyan, Azadi.
Woman, Life, Freedom.