Annenberg Radio News

Justice for Iranian Women

In light of International Women’s Day, around a dozen protesters gathered in front of Tommy Trojan today. And as Isa Johnson reports, they were demonstrating against Iran’s violent treatment of women.

A photo of a large group of people holding Iranian flags outside of a building in Los Angeles, protesting.

As people all around the world celebrate International women’s day, Iranian students come together to show their support for the women in Iran who are still subjected to sexist practices. Today more than ever, it is important to honor the women who are not granted the same freedoms as their male counterparts.

A group of about fifteen stood in front of Tommy Trojan today holding signs in solidarity with women who have fallen victim to Iran’s violent actions. We spoke with some of the attendees about the significance of the demonstration.

Third year business major Efran Zeraat made it clear that he believes everyone should educate themselves about the severity of the gendered related issues going on in Iran.

ZERAAT: Today we are hosting a demonstration to raise awareness for the current revolution going on in Iran, which came as a result of a lot of the oppression that women have been facing for years. And it originally came after the Iranian regime killed a woman for not wearing her hijab correctly. So that’s how it all started. And today we’re spreading the movement. It’s important because not only does it go back to Iran, but it ties into women’s rights everywhere, all around the world. So it’s something that we should be we should all be aware of. I just wish more people overall knew what was going on, not necessarily take action, but as long as they know, I think that’s what would mean a lot to me.

Many of the attendees were Iranian themselves and explained how the tragedies have personally affected them. Ramin Eghtesadi, a graduate student studying healthcare and data science, who has family from Iran explained how prolonged the violence has been.

EGHTESADI: “This demonstration is to just commemorate the past six, you know, five, six months of ongoing suffering in Iran. I mean, no, let me rephrase. More like forty-four years of oppression in Iran of an apartheid system that’s basically racially, ethnically, and specifically gender-sexually designated. So that goes with that. And then moreover, stand in solidarity with the brave Iranian women and all Iranian people in general living under the most evil and ruthless of dictatorships. My parents lost their homeland because of the revolution of 79. Just imagine, you know, you’re studying abroad in Paris and you’re a USC student, you are going to school in LA and all of a sudden there is a revolution and you just can’t go home because a bunch of radicals take over. Instability ensues.”

Women in Iran have been subjected to unfair practices for decades including restrictions like entering sporting events, being jailed for singing in public, violence if not properly covering one’s hair, and many others. With everyday activities posing a risk to safety, women in Iran are in constant fear for their well-being. Today we remember brave women like Mahsa Amini who have been killed at the hands of the Iranian government.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Isa Johnson.