Iranian Women Mark International Women’s Day with Protests in Half Dozen Cities
On March 8, in a half dozen or so cities, Iranian women and men marked International Women’s Day with protests in defiance of the Islamic regime’s bloody crackdown. They called for freedom, women’s rights, and denounced the government’s response to the poisoning of thousands of schoolgirls.
In west Tehran, women and men called for an end to attacks on women and the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, chanting “Death to the dictator” (referring to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) and "Woman, life, freedom." In eastern Tehran, security forces wielding tear gas and shotguns dispersed a group protesting discrimination against women.
There were also protests in Ahvaz in southern Iran, Rasht in the north, Karaj, and the Kurdish cities of Sanandaj and Saqqez. In Rasht women shouted out, "Whether with hijab or without hijab, we’re moving toward the revolution."
And on March 8, five girls in Tehran issued a 40-second video coinciding with IWD. Dressed in loose fitting clothing and without headscarves, they danced in a public area (dancing in public is illegal in Iran) to the tune of Calm Down by Rema and Selena Gomez. The video went viral and the authorities are reportedly trying to identify and perhaps arrest them.
These actions demonstrate real courage in the face of a regime willing to violently attack opponents: Between September 2022 and March 2023, the regime arrested at least 3,953 women during protests according to human rights activists, and killed 66 women.
Women Courageously Protest Taliban’s Ban on Female Education
Since the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban came to power last year in Afghanistan, they’ve imposed one enslaving measure after another against women—banning them from schools after sixth grade and all university and higher education, from traveling without a male relative, from working with nongovernmental organizations (a major source of jobs and income which impacts 11.6 million women in Afghanistan) and more.
Eighty percent of school-aged Afghan young women and girls—some 2.5 million people—are forced to remain out of school. Afghan women are more and more imprisoned in their homes—where 95 percent of violence against women takes place—and legal protections for those fleeing domestic violence have largely vanished.
In Bucaramanga, more than 500 people mobilized this March 8. The revcoms distributed the statement of the Revolutionary Communist Group, Colombia.
The place of women in Germany and in the world today—and whether the chains holding them will be tightened, or whether a force will emerge that can shatter them—continues to shake the political scene here. At least 10,000 women and many men attended one or more of 5 or 6 separate International Women’s Day demonstrations in Berlin, and thousands more across the country. Many of those attending were moved by deep feelings of solidarity with the powerful uprising in Iran that was ignited with the killing of Mahsa Amini for “wearing her hair wrong”. Many are also deeply concerned about the continuing rise of viciously misogynist fascist forces in Germany and around the world—with the election of a fascist government in neighbouring Italy this autumn fueling foreboding about what might lie ahead in Germany, where 78 MPs from the fascist Alternative for Deutschland sit in the Bundestag.
From Aurora Roja, voice of the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico:
With Fury and Joy, Women Demonstrate in Mexico and the World on March 8
On International Women’s Day, hundreds of thousands of women around the world took to the streets and public squares full of energy and anger against the patriarchal oppression that makes them experience countless horrors and crimes on a daily basis. They also bravely expressed their dreams and wishes for a radically different life, a just and necessary aspiration. This can be accomplished through revolution aimed at overthrowing the entire capitalist-imperialist system in the world, to finally emancipate all of humanity.
Women took to the streets in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Brazil, the United States, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, El Salvador, Venezuela, the Philippines, South Korea, and other countries.
In Mexico, from the south to the north, from Yucatán [east] to Baja California [west], in the 32 states of this country, covering a little more than 50 cities, from girls to older women were present in the streets. In some cities there were waves of thousands of women, who painted the air purple and green with their flares, with their clothes, with their hand-written posters, with their paint and graffiti on the pavement and walls, accompanied by rhythmic sounds and slogans. These waves of women flooded the streets in a festival of furious unity against all patriarchal and sexist violence expressing no more femicides, disappearances, rapes, acid attacks, and harassment! No more degradation and humiliation of women! They also demanded the right to legal and safe abortion for all women across the country, since it has not been decriminalized in most states, despite a Supreme Court decision to decriminalize it.