The women of Iran are spearheading a revolution

Setareh Vaziri

I am a free woman. It’s a luxury not afforded to the women of my motherland, Iran. As an Australian with Kurdish Iranian heritage, the past six weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion. A cocktail of fear, grief, guilt, pride and hope. Fear for the safety of millions of Iranians living under an oppressive rule. Grief for the hundreds of innocent lives lost, the thousands imprisoned and being brutally tortured. Guilt for not having been a stronger voice for a pain I know only too well. Death is the ultimate price for freedom in Iran. This disparity should not be lost on anyone living with basic human rights.

Iran is a country of contradictions. It possesses intense natural beauty, deep cultural and historical roots, and a formidable people from a kaleidoscope of ethnic origins. For 43 years Iran has been under theocratic rule, led by a supreme leader and a power structure that has instilled fear in the very people it governs, and that has ostracised the country from the global community. Its regime has a scathing report card of human rights abuses against political dissidents, minorities such as the Kurds, Baluch, Sunni Muslims, Bahá’ís, and the LGBTQIA+ community, among others….