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Sec. Hillary Clinton, Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland, Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, Christine Lagarde & Global Women Leaders from Over 13 Countries Sign an Open Letter Calling for the Immediate Expulsion of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 30, 2022 – Women leaders globally—including Sec. Hillary Clinton, Media Leader & Philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Education Activist Malala Yousafzai, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Economic & Political Leader Christine Lagarde, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Executive Director of UN Women, Christiana Figueres DBE, former head of UN Climate Change Convention, former First Lady of the United States & Education Advocate Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States & Education Advocate Laura Bush, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Human Rights Activist Nadia Murad and women in leadership positions from 13 countries (and counting)—today announced their participation in signing an open letter calling for the United Nations Member States to immediately remove the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Human rights protests continue to prevail following the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini who died in police custody after being arrested and detained by Iran’s “morality police” for what they considered an improper head covering in public. This collective group of global women leaders are urging the wider public to sign the letter, which condemns brutal violence of security forces against peaceful protesters, who are in large part women and girls.

“This is an unprecedented woman-led revolution that needs the full support of human rights leaders and organizations, aligned with the Member States of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and the broader public to in order to be effective,” said Vital Voices Global Partnership Cofounder, President & CEO Alyse Nelson.

“Women’s rights are under attack all over the world and if we don’t stand in solidarity with Iranian women and girls now, the violence will continue and spread,” said Nelson, who also signed the letter.

The letter also addresses gender inequality and legalized discrimination against women regarding marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody cases and attire. The signatories of the letter warn that the Commission on the Status of Women will lose credibility each day Iran remains a member.

Please find the full letter here  and the option to sign the letter here.



Linda Roth
Markette Sheppard

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

Now celebrating 25 years, Vital Voices Global Partnership has directly invested in more than 20,000 women leaders across 184 countries and territories since its inception in 1997. Driven by the universal truth that women are the key to progress in their communities and nations cannot move forward without women in leadership positions, Vital Voices has provided early support for leaders who went on to become Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, U.S. Youth Poet Laureates, prime ministers, award-winning innovators, pioneering human rights defenders, and breakthrough social entrepreneurs, including Amanda Gorman and Malala Yousafzai. In an effort to advance and expand this work, in 2022 Vital Voices opened the doors to the world’s first global embassy for women, the Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership. It is a first-of-its-kind space that allows for convening, innovation, planning, and action—all in the pursuit of serving women leaders who are taking on the world’s greatest challenges. 


About For Freedoms

For Freedoms is an artist collective that centers art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation. By wielding the power of art, we aim to deepen and expand our capacity to interrogate what is and imagine what could be. Together, we seek infinite expansion.