YWCA Canada stands in solidarity with Iranian women and girls who are leading ongoing protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in custody after being detained by the nation’s morality police.
We are in awe of the courage and determination of Iranian women and girls as they lead a movement for justice, equality and the right to exercise their agency, freedom of choice and bodily autonomy. Youth are at the forefront of this movement demanding transformative change to systems of oppression. They have been met with disproportionate violence, detainment and suppression, including on digital platforms and technological restrictions. We grieve the death of Masha and all those in Iran and around the world who have lost their lives demanding their basic rights.
YWCA Canada unequivocally asserts the right of women, girls and gender-diverse people to protest, to challenge systems of oppression and lead transformative movements without fear of violence and reprisal. We call on the government of Iran, and all governments around the world, to uphold the human rights of women, girls and gender-diverse people at all times, including as they protest and advocate for change. We call on the government of Iran to end the reprehensible violence against protesters and to release all individuals who have been detained while exercising their human rights.
Today is Human Rights Day, marking the end of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence. As we envision a world free of gender-based violence, we know it can only be achieved when human rights, dignity and self-determination are meaningfully protected. We affirm that women, girls and gender-diverse people have the right to live freely and safely, the right to freedom of conscience and religion, and freedom of opinion and expression.
To the women and girls of Iran who are risking their lives for justice and freedom, we see you, we support you, and we stand in solidarity with you.
Zan, Zendegi, Azadi.
Woman. Life. Freedom.