Iranian Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Massoumeh Ebtekar says women in Iran are actively engaged in an economic campaign aimed at cushioning the impact of the cruel sanctions imposed by the United States against the Iranian nation.
She made the remarks in an address to the second edition of International Event on Women, Sustainability, Peace, and Security held on Tuesday in Tehran.
Ebtekar said women in Iran play an important role in countering the US sanctions, and are currently promoting an “economic campaign” against the bans.
“Many women in Iran are working in the economic sphere as entrepreneurs,” she said.
“We are very proud that Iranians have taken all these steps,” she noted, praising the role played by women during the past four decades.
She said the Islamic Republic has not achieved a utopia since its establishment in 1979, but the country has progressed towards a “future of hope” for women and their security.
“Iranian women have stood and progressed since 1979…. Imam Khomeini drew a roadmap for progress of Iranian women within a paradigm in which women could flourish while protecting their dignity,” she added.
Ebtekar said the majority of the international community is currently standing by Iran on promoting these objectives.
The majority of the world is with Iran because they look for a future of peace and security and look forward to working with Iran economic and politically, the vice-president said.
Ebtekar further highlighted women’s important role in global peace today, and said great work needs to be done to address such issues as atrocities against women, sexual abuse, refugees who are mostly women and children, the sufferings, and the pain they endure.
She further noted that despite efforts made so far, violence, terror, and extremism affecting women’s lives still exist in Middle East and other parts of the world.
“We have to be the voice of the voiceless. The voice of women in Yemen, Palestine and Gaza – the girls imprisoned in Gaza Strip, girls dying of hunger in Yemen, we should be the voice of women in Syria who have been forced to move from their cities for fear of ISIS and other groups,” she said.
“We have to listen to the voice of people in Rohingya who have been displaced from their homes. We have to be voice of Afghan women who suffered a lot of pressure; those in Iraq and in Libya, and many others.”
She said the world must stand up and speak for the importance of peace and take action against those selling arms and increase conflicts in the region.
“These weapons will have collateral damages, including damage to families, because male soldiers and men who die are sons and husbands initially.”
Ebtekar regretted that the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and other international treaties on women have been mostly overlooked, and highlighted the need to understand that women are targeted both specifically and through collateral damage in war, instances of terror, and violence.
“We recently experienced a terrible case of attack on our young soldiers [in Sistan and Baluchestan],” she said, adding that as a target of terror, Iran has been playing an important role in confronting terrorism in region.
“We’ve worked with neighbours to confront terror and the ideology that has nothing to do with Islam,” she said, adding that Islam is a religion that calls upon us to resist pressure, to understand brotherly and sisterly relations.