Young women in Iran face horrifying consequences for protesting, yet they continue to speak up for their dignity and freedom.
Like much of the world, I have watched, heartsick, as Iranian women protest against unjust oppression, often at the risk of their lives. Iranian Christians have joined the movement, speaking out courageously against the oppression of women and violation of human rights.
Most recently, 16-year-olds Nika Shakarami and Sarina Esmailzadeh were brutally killed. Both barely more than children, they allegedly died at the hands of the government police, whose purported purpose is to keep citizens safe.
As a mother, I can’t stop thinking about those girls’ families. Even in their nightmarish heartbreak, their families must be proud of them for standing up for what they believed in.
When I talk about what’s going on in Iran with my own daughters, sisters, and other women I love, I keep coming back to some important ways I’ve been inspired while watching and reading about these protests.
1Standing up for what’s right
Words fail me to honor the heroic and unparalleled courage of those protesting in Iran. They face horrifying consequences, yet they continue to speak out and march in the streets, doing something incredibly hard and scary for the sake of what’s right.
It’s rare for most of us to face such dire consequences when we speak up about our convictions. But their example is a rallying cry and inspiration to speak the truth when it’s hard to do so.
2Women supporting women
The solidarity and unity of Iran’s women is inspiring. It’s incredible what women can accomplish when they work together, and we are always stronger together than apart.
Before she died, Esmailzadeh said in an online video, “Nothing feels better than freedom.” Her protest is even louder in death, a cry heard around the world to end oppression and fight for justice and freedom.
The countless stories of courage and solidarity from the Iranian protests are one example that can spur us to speak up and work together, in whatever ways make sense in our own little corners of the world.