A Warrior Woman speaks out against injustice and violence. She knows the strength of standing together in protest and calls on the indomitable spirit of changemakers who have come before her.
Women in Iran have a long history of engaging in political struggle to build a better life. They have advocated for women's rights and spoken out against violence and oppression at critical times in Iran's history. Most recently, a women's movement has risen up in response to the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who was arrested and beaten for wearing her hijab improperly. This has sparked outrage in Iran and a call for solidarity around the world.
I have been so struck by the bravery and steadfastness of the women and men who continue to go into the streets despite the risks of imprisonment, assault, and even death. I hope they feel the support around the world of those who are following their struggle. I know they are being silenced and isolated in an attempt to diminish their power.
I learned so much in my search for an image of an Iranian woman who had a story to tell. First off, many historical photographs, both public and private, were destroyed after the Revolution in 1979. This photo I chose was simply labeled " Persian woman in indoor costume", published in National Geographic in 1921. She's dressed, not for the public, but for a more intimate space. And yet, She stands strong, out in the open, a superhero in her own right. In her, I see that indomitable strength of Iranian women throughout history. In her I see the faces of those in the streets today demanding that women have control over their own bodies and choices. Life. Women. Freedom. Words that are at this moment reverberating across the globe.
To learn more about women in Iran, past and present:
The Female Voice of Iran, https://zeitgenoessische-oper.de/FVOI/