(Islamabad, 18 September 2022): In a solidarity statement by Women Democratic Front (WDF) President Ismat Shahjahan said that our region is in the grip of patriarchal extremism and barbarism under state patronage, mainly in the theocratic and authoritarian states of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Patriarchy has become a political, social, and strategic asset for the ruling authoritarian regimes. She said that women are caught in the crossfire of imperialist war and political engineering in our region, which uses religious fundamentalism, patriarchal extremism, and imperialist feminism as political weapon against the masses.
Patriarchal extremism has resulted in widespread patriarchal violence and discrimination against women, girls, and transgenders. Feminist movements are also faced with brutal state oppression. While the world is silent on these brutalities due to its own colonial, political, and strategic interests. Instead, most imperialist powers have colluded for decades with these regimes since the cold war. Theocratic regimes were supported by western imperialist powers and the Saudis as counter revolution force to crush progressive forces in our region, she said.
Today marks one year since the Taliban banned teenage girls from schools in Afghanistan. Afghan girls continue to be locked out of their classrooms on the basis of gender. A young feminist ‘Masha Amini’ was killed this week in Iran by the ‘morality police’ in its custody, for not wearing the hijab right. These forms of oppression have sparked popular feminist resistance both by women and men in Afghanistan, and Iran, but the resistance movements are also faced with state oppression, and threats of imperialist cooption, mainly of the emerging women-led resistance in Iran.
She condemned these authoritarian regimes and said that decolonization, people’s democracy, and peace is the ward forward for emaciation of women and the masses.
We at WDF extend solidarity to our Afghan and Iranian sisters in struggle and call upon them to form regional solidarity to struggle for democracy, peace, and the emancipation of women in our region, said Ismat Shahjahan.
Az Kabul ta Tehran – MadrAn wa ZanAn – Etehad Etehad
Issued by: Tooba Syed (Secretary Information, WDF)