On July 13, 2019, dignitaries from dozens of countries across the world attended the main event of the Free Iran 2019 international conference. The conference was part of the five-day Free Iran 2019 series of conferences at the main headquarters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Ashraf 3, Albania. Several dignitaries, political and human rights activists delivered speeches, issuing remarks about the struggles of the Iranian people and their resistance movement for freedom in their country.
Following are key remarks by Vice Chair of UN CEDAW Committee Bandana Rana at the Ashraf 3 conference.
Such a joy, pride and honor to be standing before this powerful collective voice of resistance. For the last 33 years, I have been working to address all forms of violence against women, discrimination, and promoting gender equality. I started from communities in Nepal, but my journey led me to expand my advocacy nationally, regionally and many times globally. My journey also took me to the corridors of the United Nations advocating for global policies that impact at the national level.
Today, today I see a leader, Maryam Rajavi.
She earns so much of joy, respect, warmth, love that you [PMOI/MEK members and supporters] give to her. And I feel so proud to be a woman, to see this leadership.
I think the resilience, the power and the solidarity of Iranian women are inspirational to other women in the world as well.
My activism today has taken me to a global platform where I am in the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, CEDAW as it is commonly known.
But when I looked at Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan, I could see so much of commonalities in what CEDAW mandates. Fundamental freedoms of women, equality before the law, end of all discrimination, sexual subjugation, equality in family, and equality in all spheres political, economic, and social.
I work on women’s peace and security, promoting women’s participation in peace. And we all know there cannot be peace without women. And when a movement like yours is led by a woman, peace is certainly assured sooner or later. My solidarity to all of you [PMOI/MEK]. Thank you.