sec. Hillary Clinton, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Oprah Winfrey, Malala, Christine Lagarde, Michelle Obama and global women leaders from more than 14 countries sign open letter calling for UN action against Iran

The open letter, published in Sunday’s New York Times, calls for the immediate expulsion of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Sign the petition

Sign the petition at and stand in solidarity with Iranian women and girls who courageously demonstrate peacefully for their basic human rights.

The open letter

This copy of the open letter was published in "The New York Times" on Sunday 30 October.

This copy of the open letter was published in “The New York Times” on Sunday, October 30.

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The world’s leading women leaders in business, politics, advocacy and the arts published a open letter in Sunday’s New York Times calling for the immediate removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Signatories to the letter include Sec. Hillary ClintonCanadian Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of the Treasury Chrystia FreelandMedia Leader & Philanthropist Oprah WinfreyNobel Peace Prize Winner and Education Activist malala Yousafzai, economic and political leader Christine Lagardeformer First Lady of the United States and advocate of girls’ education Michelle Obamaformer Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukaformer head of the UN Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres DBE, former First Lady of the United States & Education Advocate Laura BushNobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Nadia Muradi and women in leadership positions from 14 countries (and still are).

This global effort — a partnership between Vital Voices, For Freedoms and a coalition of Iranian women leaders — comes amid more than 40 days of global protests launched and led by Iranian women and girls following the tragic death of the 22-year-old. Mahsa Jina Amini. The protesters demand justice after Amini died in police custody on September 16, 2022. Amini was arrested by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly failing to comply with mandatory hijab laws.

Reports of extreme sentences and crackdowns on protesters by the Iranian authorities have flooded international headlines and social media feeds in the weeks since Amini’s death, attracting worldwide attention and scrutiny.

The group of women leaders who signed the letter came together in solidarity with Iranian women and girls with a clear call to action: the immediate removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women.

Within the first few days of going live, the letter received more than 21,000 signatures and grew. In addition, more than 130,000 petitioners have signed a letter requesting the same result on

The open letter reads: “We condemn the brutal violence by security forces against peaceful protesters… Earlier this year, to the dismay of women’s rights advocates around the world, Iran began a four-year term in the 45-member UN Commission for the Status of Women. This leading global body is exclusively dedicated to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s prolonged, systematic oppression of women should have disqualified them from election to the CSW.”

The letter also deplores the Islamic Republic of Iran’s record of women’s rights, citing gender inequality and legalized discrimination against women in relation to marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody matters and clothing. These restrictions include the mandate requiring women to wear head coverings at the onset of puberty.

The letter’s signatories warn that the violence and loss of life will continue without global intervention at the highest level, and that the Commission on the Status of Women will lose credibility every day that the Islamic Republic of Iran remains a member.

“This is a critical moment for leaders in the international community to vocally and unequivocally demonstrate their support for women’s rights by standing in solidarity with Iranian women and girls,” the letter said.

Members of the public are invited to read the full letter here. To join the movement, sign up here.


About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Vital Voices Global Partnership is now celebrating 25 years and has invested directly in more than 20,000 women leaders in 184 countries and territories since its inception in 1997. Driven by the universal truth that women are the key to progress in their communities and countries can’t go on without women in leadership positions, Vital Voices has provided early support to leaders who later went on to become Nobel Peace Prize winners, American Youth Poet Laureates, Prime Ministers, innovators, pioneering human rights defenders and pioneering social entrepreneurs, including Amanda Gorman and Malala Yousafzai. In an effort to advance and expand this work, Vital Voices opened the doors of the world’s first global embassy for women, the Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership, in 2022. It is a unique space that offers space for meetings, innovation, planning and action – all in the pursuit of serving women leaders who are taking on the world’s greatest challenges.

About For Freedoms
For Freedoms is an artist collective that focuses on art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation.

By harnessing the power of art, we want to deepen and expand our ability to explore what is and imagine what could be.

Together we seek infinite expansion.


CONTACT: Vital Voices Global Partnership [email protected]
Vital Voices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button