Remembering Mahsa Amini: Her Impact on Women's Rights in Iran and the World

Published on September 18, 2023

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Mahsa Amini was not a political activist. She was a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested by the Guidance Patrol for allegedly violating Iran's mandatory hijab law by wearing her hijab "improperly" while visiting Tehran from her hometown. Her death in police custody on September 16, 2022, sparked protests and civil unrest in Iran and around the world and the birth of the Women Life Freedom movement.

On the anniversary of her death, we are reminded of the ongoing struggles for women's rights in Iran and elsewhere. Since her death, the women's rights movement in Iran has continued to evolve and resist despite the government's brutal clampdown on protests. Women's rights activists have continued to speak out and demand change, inspiring others to join the movement.

Iranian women's rights groups seek support from international women's organizations in:

  • Advocating for the expansion of rights for women and all Iranians, including the right to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
  • Calling for the repeal of discriminatory laws, such as the mandatory hijab law, and for the release of women's rights activists who have been arrested and imprisoned for peacefully protesting.
  • Urging international organizations to pressure the Iranian government to respect the rights of women and minorities and to hold those responsible for human rights abuses accountable.
  • Requesting the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the government's repression of women's rights activists.
  • Asking international organizations to provide support and resources to women's rights activists on the ground in Iran.

International women's organizations have played a central role in supporting the protests, condemning the government crackdown and advocating for the expansion of rights for women and all Iranians. The Montreal Council of Women continue to support the women of Iran in their struggle and stand in solidarity with them. We also remember with sorrow the lives that have been sacrificed.

Mahsa Amini is more than a symbol, she is a woman, a daughter, a friend - a life that was taken too soon.

Woman. Life. Freedom.

Linda Bell Serpone
MCW President

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