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Heroes of The Year – Women of Iran’ Time Magazine

By Sue Parnianfar

Director of Street Law

Time magazine, based in New York have recently published their ‘Hero of The Year 2022’[1] piece, and they have named the women of Iran as the heroes. This article was written by Azadeh Moaveni. She is an Iranian American writer. This piece means a lot to the people of Iran because it recognises their fight and publishes their voice. The women of Iran, including young women, as young as 15 have been getting involved and have stood at the forefront in the dangerous and life-threatening protests. The Islamic Republic will punish those who stand up against them, this has been demonstrated in the tragic deaths (an estimate 400 people) by the government from the those who dared speak up against them. For girls to go and stand up in the protests knowing they might face death is very, incredibly brave. And they are all doing this for a change of regime. The people want a change, they are willing to risk their lives for the future generations. This all goes back to the slogan “women, life, freedom”. They are doing this for women, for their quality of life and their unrestricted freedom. This slogan has been reported to be used by over 23 languages[2], showing the global impact it has had and how many people it has reached. The Washington Post has called these protests “the longest major demonstrations against Iran’s cleric-led security state”[3].

This article and the picture attached to it have been circulating on Instagram and has been reposted a lot of times by Iranian men and women, it empowers the nation and makes them feel heard and seen. There has overall been a lot of positive reinforcement from this publication and its refreshing to see in mainstream media the support of Iranian women. These pieces help the young girls in Iran who are risking their lives, to stay strong and not give up. It may seem like a few small words, but these words have a large impact on society.

Why is it important for this to be published?

This publication is important because it has sparked a wave of hope for everyone, it has made the path to women, life freedom seem possible. Girls in Iran know that what they are doing is worth it and there are results from it, this is not all for nothing. The women of Iran really are heroes, standing against an oppressive regime with nothing but years of rage and silence. These gestures are all part of the bigger picture, articles such as this being published may lead to the end of this regime. That is why it is important for actions such as this to be taken, so that the government is held accountable and the citizens – in particular - the women of Iran are recognised for their strength, courage and patience.

Another highlight of this article is the photographs and their meanings. The photographer for this article was Forough Alaei – who is also an Iranian woman. She studied law before taking up photography in journalism. Her lens showed us the women in many photos with descriptions below – explaining what the meaning was. These photos speak a thousand words and capture the pain of the Persian population. It is always often women with their faces covered or their backs to the camera to showcase their inferior role in society since the 1979 revolution, how they have become a shadow of their husbands and hold no value alone, how they have virtually no rights and they must be hidden behind the hijab. It may even be for their own protection and safety, so their identity is hidden.

Overall, this article is a great piece, and it is helping women of Iran get one step closer to their freedom. Women’s right was established many years ago, it is time the regime changed, and Iran became Iran again.

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