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WILPF Releases a Statement to Support the Iranian People’s Uprising against Tyranny

As the Iranian people rise to oppose tyranny and oppression, WILPF stands in solidarity and offer our voice and action towards the realisation of their demands.

Image credit: Artin Bakhan
WILPF International Secretariat
5 October 2022

Statement to Support the Iranian People’s Uprising against Tyranny

We at WILPF stand in solidarity with the wide-scale uprising of the Iranian people against the hegemonic, violent and oppressive regime. Our radical feminist tradition taught us that oppressive states will always try to conscript women’s bodies, sometimes by compulsory dress codes, in this case the Hijab, sometimes by compulsory Hijab removal. This is not about morality, it is about policing women’s bodies and choices, depriving them of health and reproductive rights, and pushing them out of the public space. It is a tool to strengthen the militarised control of the state.

The murder of Mahsa Amini/Jina Amini has sparked earth-shaking anger. It has reignited a struggle that has spanned over several decades challenging deeply rooted structural oppression, inequality and neoliberal policies. We stand in solidarity with the many women who were murdered challenging control over their bodies, with the minorities who were isolated, suppressed and denied their cultural and political autonomy, and with the working class who has been demonised and reduced to disposable fuel for the aggressive militarised power of a ruthless state.

The Iranian feminist movement has been central to this uprising. It established a collective conscience that motivated women, youth, workers and teachers among other groups to populate the streets at an unfathomable cost. It has analysed the patriarchal nature of the regime and built a narrative to link the public and private violence, within the borders of the state and without, and it continues to provide feminist alternatives through collective analysis, strategising, mobilising, and consensus building. We offer our solidarity, voice and action towards the realisation of their demands.

The Iranian regime will try to reduce their systematic oppression to an individual crime and offer an individual investigation resulting in carceral accountability. It doesn’t take an investigation to conclude that “morality” doesn’t require policing, and that the immorality that must stop is that of the military state that is unashamedly persecuting its people. Tyranny wants to distract the population of the bigger prison by increasing the population of the small prison, we want neither. We support the transformative demands of the Iranian people, we stand behind their call for “Women, Life and Freedom”.

And for those of us within the feminist movement, let’s remember that Iranian women do not need us to weigh in on the debate about what to do with their bodies, they need us to use the spaces available to make sure that no woman’s or girl’s body is a playing field for state policies, any state.

Download statement: Statement to Support the Iranian People’s Uprising against Tyranny

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WILPF International Secretariat

WILPF International Secretariat, with offices in Geneva and New York, liaises with the International Board and the National Sections and Groups for the implementation of WILPF International Programme, resolutions and policies as adopted by the International Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat also provides support in areas of advocacy, communications, and financial operations.

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Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

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WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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