How to Support Women-Driven Movement in Iran

A suggestion for Specific Goal-Oriented Action by Expatriates


By Mo Parvin



The stunning uprising of Iranian women is unprecedented. 

The revolt was ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. As the world knows now, she was arrested for defying the strict code of women's clothing and "wearing inappropriate clothes." Since this barbaric system is everything but a "Republic," I call it the Islamic Regime in Iran (IRI).

Sick and tired of the IRI and the law forcing women to wear the veil, young women and eventually people of all ages and genders took to the streets shouting slogans and, in particular, "Woman, life, freedom." Women removed and burned headscarves and body covers and courageously confronted the forces of repression ordered to fire live ammunition. It was much more than enough to break my forced silence. I will try again and share my suggestion on how we can support the women's movement in Iran to topple a bloody regime.

In articles that I wrote on July 30, 2019, in English and Farsi [1], [2] I indicated that:

"Imagine the day when millions of Iranian women say "no" to the Islamic regime and its backward laws and take to the streets without a veil under the eyes of the mobilized world. This day will be the end of the life of this criminal regime."

We have not reached there yet, but it won't be that far if we expatriates do our job too.

The death of Mahsa Amini inspired the women's movement in Iran, which eventually pulled out many freedom-loving people to the streets. The movement that started spontaneously is slowly getting organized; that is an encouraging sign. The brutal regime in Iran won't hesitate to demolish spontaneous movements when its life is in danger. Millions of organized, courageous women and men cannot be stopped even by a murderous regime. 

However, they need time to reach that undefeatable state. We can buy them time if we also start a specific goal-oriented movement.

Widespread demonstrations worldwide following the death of Mahsa Amini, spreading news of movements in Iran, condemning the Islamic Regime in Iran in many ways, and demanding reactions from western governments are all necessary but insufficient. 

The interest-driven western governments have shown over the years that when it comes to human rights violations by the dictatorship in Iran, they all stand by victims by words and no deeds. At best, the military groups or commanders are "sanctioned." For example, if they cannot travel to Canada, this punishment will stop their violation of human rights and killing innocent people! They know what they are doing. Their priority has been and is controlling the regime's atomic activities.

We must force them to place the condition of stopping human rights violations as another condition along with their atomic demand. The release of political and human rights activists and no interference with women's type of dressing or hair covering must be considered as a first step. The IRI should be suspended for participation in any worldwide affair until these conditions are satisfied. Here are a few examples:

  • No involvement in the UN (Suspension rule according 2 Article 5, UN Chapter [3]). 
  • No visit of any official to any occasion.  
  • Temporary closure of embassies. 

Our only force to dictate these tasks is the power of our votes and the votes of all the freedom-loving people of the world inspired by the women's movements in Iran. 

All our activities outside Iran should be around these sorts of demands through available means. We should use all our tools, including social media, to ask concerned people to push their local, state, and federal politicians to act on this. 

We should show the degree of our concerns and convey that any politicians who support these actions will have our votes regardless of our political affiliations.

When we start to change the result of even a low-level election, the news will spread. Eventually, different parties will compete to gain our votes. 

If we do this in a coordinated way worldwide, the Iranian activists inside Iran will hear us. Even if our effort does not achieve our exact goals, these unified voices raised worldwide will empower the courageous women and men standing against a brutal regime. Having organized the split protests in Iran will also accelerate and eventually attract more and more people who had given up and could not imagine such a historical movement initiated by women. The murder of Mahsa Amini ignited a fire that could burn the roots of the dictatorship in Iran. 

We need to keep the flame up.

The task I briefly mentioned in this writing and will elaborate on in another article is difficult to achieve. The IRI's lobbyists have changed their approach to its unconditional recognition to influence and ruin the activities of expatriates in support of the women's movement in Iran. They are well funded and therefore well organized and have taken advantage of our lack of proper approach to influence many organizations. For example, The University of Chicago invited Negar Mortazavi, a known member of NIAC, to talk about the power of Iranian women on October 18, 2022.

I want to keep this writing as brief as possible. So, I will expose the lobbyists' new cover-ups in another writing.  

I will share more thoughts with you soon. Please don't hesitate to share yours with me. We can discuss our suggestions in zoom meetings until we come up with an action plan that we hopefully all or a majority agree upon. Contacting through email exchange will be an excellent way to start. We can then manipulate social media to involve more people and also make sure that Iranians inside Iran hear us.


 1- Passing by the Islamic Regime or Overthrowing it ?

 2- Farsi version of the above article


M. Parvin, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at the California State University, and Founding Director of the

Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran (MEHR)

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