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The Prime Minister’s wife Urška Bačovnik Janša speaks at the Iranian Women on the March to Equality and Freedom conference

  • Former Prime Minister Janez Janša (2020 - 2022)

The wife of the Slovenian Prime Minister, Urška Bačovnik Janša, addressed the participants of the conference “Iranian Women on the March to Equality and Freedom – the fight and progress of Iranian Women” which was organised by the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The keynote speaker at the conference was Maryam Rajavi.

Speakers who joined the conference online included: Ingrid Betancourt (a French Colombian), Rita Sussmuth (Germany), Dominique Attias (France), Francis Townsend (USA), Rama Yade (France), Ranjana Kumari (India) and Baroness Betty Boothroyd (United Kingdom), Members of the European Parliament, US Senators and Members of the British Parliament.

The speech of the Prime Minister’s wife is published below. The transcript of the speech has not been authorised.

Dear participants, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour and pleasure to attend today's conference with so many of distinguished guests and under the great leadership of Marjam Radžavi.

As a Muslim woman, Maryam has had to overcome extraordinary political, social, cultural and ideological challenges, put in place by the ruling regime in Iran. I commend Maryam′s courage and commitment to empower Iranian women. Under Maryam′s leadership, women have risen to hold key positions in the Iranian Resistance movement.

I admire the work of the NCRI Women's committee that I have been following closely for quite some time.

Iranian women have been on the front lines of protests against Iran's Islamist regime. They have showed enormous courage, intelligence and strength. We, women around the world can be proud of them.

But despite all their heroic efforts, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues restricting the rights of Iranian women and erasing them from all levels of society. Iranian women continue being the first victims of the regime.

We continue facing unimaginable discriminatory laws for the 21st century. Women not being able to travel abroad or obtaining a passport without the written permission of their male guardian, women being prohibited from singing and dancing or women facing up to 15 years in prison and receiving lashes for the so called "bad hijab".

I continue being deeply affected by numerous reports of sexual abuse that Iranian women have witnessed in prison. Numerous women continue being executed. There are serious concerns over a rigid judicial system. Women are executed for murder but the reality is that they are just victims of horrendous domestic abuse. They will kill to defend themselves or their children since they have no legal means to end an abusif marriage.

Unfortunately, I could continue with other examples of outrageous situation of women in Iran, but my time is limited. So, I would like to take the opportunity of today's event to pass a very strong message to my fellow Western women and Western governments – we must stand firm together against policies of the Iranian regime that strangles women freedoms. Words of Western women organisations and governments must be put in action. We must be there for Iranian women!

Thank you for your attention.