On December 8th, Soraya Rodríguez Ramos and Hilde Vautmans, MEPs from Renew Europe, organised the event “Iran, challenged: women-led protests, women-led responses ” (Iran, Challenged: Women-led Protests, Women-led Responses”).
Mahsa Amini’s death angered Iran and the entire world. Iranian civil society protests and discontent against the regime’s brutal practices have reached unprecedented levels.
The EU Council adopted a set of new sanctions against Iran, and the European Parliament passed a resolution on the plenary of November condemning the crackdown on protesters for women’s rights in the country.
Meanwhile, these events have sparked yet another wave of women-led demonstrations in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, where women’s rights and freedoms are dismantled under the yoke of the Taliban.
During the event, distinguished speakers such as Shirin Ebadi, Iranian activist and Nobel Prize winner; Lesia Radelicki, member of the Cabinet of the EU Commissioner for Gender Equality; Arnout Pauwels, Permanent Representation of Belgium to the European Union; and Azadeh Zamirirad, Deputy Head of the Research Division of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs; analysed the current political and social situation in Iran.
In the conclusions of the event, it became clear that concrete and tangible responses from the European Union to the events that are happening in Iran are needed. Soraya Rodríguez advocated before the European External Action Service for the need of the European Union to organise an international forum that connects the diaspora of Iranian women with those who remain within the country. As Ms Ebadi pointed out, support for Iranian civil society is essential for the Iranian theocratic and despot regime transition to democracy.