Masih Alinejad rallied support and solidarity for the women of Iran in her rousing acceptance speech for the Global Impact Award, presented by Iranian Diaspora Collective co-founder Moj Mahdara at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit 2022.
“I strongly believe that the time for women across the globe has come to show your solidarity with your sisters in Iran and Afghanistan. I strongly believe that now this is the time that you can take to the streets,” she said in a televised appearance on Wednesday. “This is the time for an international women’s march for the woman of Iran and Afghanistan.”
An author, journalist and activist, Alinejad has been violently targeted for “demanding freedom, equality, democracy, and dignity” in speaking out against the Iranian government.
“My heart is broken,” she said, for the Iranian citizens who have been killed doing the same or simply existing as women living under a dictatorship – including Mahsa Amini, whose September murder ignited global protests against the Iranian regime.
“[Amini] came to Tehran for a vacation. She was not even unveiled. She was not even protesting against compulsory hijab or showing her hair. A little bit of her hair was visible, and that is why she got killed by morality police – which I call it hijab police,” said Alinejad. “That created a huge anger across Iran now, women and men shoulder to shoulder protesting not only against compulsory hijab, not only against morality police, [but] against the whole regime.”
In the depths of brutal violence and tragedy, Alinejad still believes there is reason for hope.
“The regime in Iran used men against women for years and years, saying that men, in the name of honor, you will have to kill your sisters your daughters. Now men are supporting their daughters and sisters in the streets, and that’s why the Iranian regime is executing them – at least 15 other protesters are in the death row.”
Alinejad closed out her speech by calling the situation in Iran “a threat to democracy” around the world – which is why “this is the time that we must get united as well,” she said.
“We the freedom fighters! We the feminists! We who care about democracy and dignity,” she continued. “Don’t forget, together we are stronger and we will win this battle together.”
The Power Women Summit (PWS) is the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology. The event aims to inspire and empower women across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives. This year’s PWS provides two days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking around the globe – to promote this year’s theme, “A Time to Unite.” Learn more here: thewrap.com/pws.