“The incredibly brave women of Iran” deserve our support, said Canada’s foreign minister Thursday as she hosted a virtual meeting with a group of her female counterparts from around the world.
“The women of Iran are speaking clearly. No longer will they tolerate the regime’s vision of women in society,” Melanie Joly said.
The gathering addressed the monthlong protests that began with the death of Mahsa Amini last month in Iran while in police custody.
Joly said the gathering “shows global solidarity for Iranian women and tells the Iranian regime that the world is watching.”
“We have a responsibility to help amplify the voices of women in Iran,” she said.
Iran has accused countries that have expressed support for the protests of meddling in its internal affairs.
Stella Ronner-Grubačić, the EU ambassador for gender and diversity, tweeted, “Important signal of international solidarity w/#IranianProtests today at the initiative of #Canada’s FM @melaniejoly. Discussion on the need to be vocal in our support, amplifying the voices of #IranianWomen.”
“The #EU position on brutal repression of protests following death of #MashaAmini is clear. I am truly pleased to have been invited to observe this meeting of #femaleforeignministers,” Ronner-Grubačić added.
Female foreign ministers from Germany, Chile, New Zealand and Norway were expected to attend.
Nahayat Tizhoosh, of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., tweeted Thursday that among the speakers at the virtual conference were Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Homa Hoodfar, a professor emerita at Concordia University in Montreal, who was once imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, and Asa Regner, U.N. assistant secretary-general.
The female officials were set to hear from women of Iranian heritage and to discuss ways to coordinate efforts supporting Iranians.
Amini, a 22-year-old woman from Iran’s Kurdistan region, was arrested on September 13 by the so-called morality police for improper wearing of the hijab. She died three days later while in police custody.
Iran’s religious leaders have tried to portray the unrest as part of a breakaway uprising by the Kurdish minority threatening the nation’s unity, rather than as a protest of clerical rule.