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Maryam Rajavi tells the world's women of her vision of a 'free, equal and democratic Iran'

Pris Women's Conference

Paris, March 9, 2013 - Iranian Resistance leader Maryam Rajavi has laid out her vision of complete social, political and cultural equality for women in Iran - which she called the 'absolute opposite' of the sexist and misogynist dogma of the ruling regime.

She issued her call for a new freedom for women across the Arab world in an inspirational speech in Paris at conference to mark International Women's Day..And she branded Iran's extremist clerics as 'demagogues' who considered violence against women to be a virtue.

Mrs Rajavi told the conference: "Since day one, the Iranian Resistance has warned of this regime's sinister aspirations, and has risen up against it with all its might. Both in its political platform and in its cultural and ideological world-view, this movement has been and remains today the antithesis of the clerical regime."

Women's rights had been one of the principle bones of contention between the resistance and the regime since their struggle began, she told delegates.

She added: "The idea of equality, in our movement, is inspirational and holds a promise for the Iranian society and especially its women and youth.

When aiming mullah's misogyny you are aiming at the heart of Islamic extremism

"When you target the mullahs' misogyny, you are in fact aiming at the heart of their ideology.  This explains why the mullahs target the PMOI incessantly and extensively through utter demagoguery. In their view, the PMOI's first offense is its unwavering commitment to bring about change in Iran.

"In addition to this, in accordance with the mullahs’ Sharia, the PMOI has committed the cardinal sin. Because the Iranian Resistance believes that Iranian women are competent enough and must assume the leadership of the democratic Iran of tomorrow."

"It is because of committing such unforgivable sins that, with endless rage and vengeance, the mullahs slander the PMOI and call it a 'cult', while continuing to suppress them.  And they have made them the target of a campaign of demonization and misinformation over many years.

"It is because this is a movement that completely and absolutely rejects the ruling ideology and behavior and has risen up to overthrow oppression, inequality and injustice in its foundation."

Mrs Rajavi said the resistance movement sought a new Iran based on the separation of church and state, one that is pluralistic and peace-seeking, one that rejects the death penalty and is non-nuclear.

The current regime was now battling political and economic crises both with and outside Iran and was 'in the phase of being overthrown', Mrs Rajavi said.

Reasons for plotting attacks against Camp Liberty

She added: "That is why they have directed the bulk of their attacks and plots against a movement that has the capability to steer social discontent towards overthrowing the regime."

Mrs Rajavi also spoke of the imminent danger posed to Liberty residents by the Iranian regime and terrorist forces loyal to Iraq.

She told political, social and cultural women dignitaries from 40 countries: "Over 3,000 Ashraf residents, after a mandatory relocation, are once again facing the threat of a humane catastrophe in Liberty Prison.

"The United Nations, and especially the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, despite their catastrophic irresponsible approach towards the February 9th massacre, continue to take the side of the mullah's puppet government in Iraq.

"This is while currently the issue of Liberty residents’ security has remained unattended to and they have taken no action so far."

She urged the UN Secretary General to sack Martin Kobler and appoint an impartial representative in Iraq in order to guarantee the residents' security.  They should then be returned to Ashraf or transferred to the United States before resettlement to third countries."

And she praised the courage of her 'brave sisters and daughters' who remain incarcerated across Iran, telling delegates 'Hail to all of them'.

She added: "And on the occasion of International Women's Day, we also salute our persevering sisters in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt and wherever they are in the anti-fundamentalist front, fighting for equality and freedom."

Vision for future Iran

Mrs Rajavi then laid down a ten-point manifesto for her vision of women's rights in Iran once the regime had fallen.

Her list stated:

  1. Women shall enjoy the equal right to have all the fundamental freedoms, including standing for elections, casting a vote, and becoming judges. Women, regardless of their ethnicity, religious or social class, shall enjoy equal rights as men.
  2. To combat violence, rape, discrimination and violation of their freedoms, women shall have access to credible judicial remedies.
  3. Women are free to choose their clothing. The law on compulsory veiling shall be annulled.
  4. Women shall enjoy the right to equal participation on in the political leadership of society.
  5. Women shall enjoy equal rights as men. With respect to inheritance, signing contracts and managing assets the labor market, women shall have equal opportunities as men.
  6. Women shall enjoy the free and equal right to choose their spouse, and freely decide to marry or divorce. They shall also enjoy the right to have custody of their children. Polygamy is prohibited.
  7. All forms of violence against women, threatening actions or forcibly depriving them of their freedoms are considered crimes.
  8. The sex trade and all forms of sexual exploitation shall be prohibited.
  9. The mullahs' Sharia laws will have no place in the Iran of tomorrow. Disgraceful and barbaric laws like stoning shall be annulled.

10.  Women must have access to social welfare programs, especially for retirement, unemployment, illness, and old age.

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