On February 27, in the lead-up to International Women’s Day, a grand gathering entitled, “Pledge for Parity: Women United against Fundamentalism” was held in Paris, with numerous political dignitaries, intellectuals, prominent personalities, and activists of the equality movement from 26 countries and four continents.
The keynote speaker was the President-elect Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who addressed the plight of women in Iran and the role of women as the main force to confront fundamentalism. She called on women in Iran and the world over to unite to bring freedom to Iran, peace to the Middle East and security to the world.
Among other speakers were Linda Chavez, former White House Director of Public Liaison and US expert to UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights; Rama Yade, former French Minister of Human Rights; Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian presidential candidate; Rita Sussmuth, former President of German Bundestag; Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Centre for Social Research and 5th winner of the Lotus Leadership Award from India; Nagham Ghadri, Vice-President of Syrian National Coalition; Rashida Manjoo and Yakin Erturk, former UN Special Rapporteurs on Violence against Women; Christine Ockrent, French journalist, writer and renowned TV commentator; Beatriz Becerra, member of the European parliament from Spain; Stefania Pezzopane, Italian Senator; Margarita Duran Vadell, Spanish Senator; Fatiha Bakkali on behalf of women legislators from Morocco; Najima Thay Thay, former Minister of Education and Youth from Morocco; Anissa Boumediene, former first lady of Algeria, Islamic scholar and jurist; Azza Heikal, Egyptian writer and professor of Arab Academic University affiliated with the Arab League and a leader of women’s council of Arab tribes; Majedeh Novaishi, Vice-President of Arab Women Representatives Coalition from Egypt; Drita Avdyli, former Deputy Minister and current Chairwoman of National Chamber of Mediation, Diana Culi, writer journalist and politician, Sevim Arbana, founder of organization Useful to Albanian Women from Albania; a delegation of jurists, including former ICC judge Fatoumata Dembélé Diarra (Mali), Kirsty Brimelow and Sara Chandler (Britain), Chair of Human Rights Commission of Federation of European Bar Associations; Maria Candida Almeida, Attorney General Deputy in the Supreme Court (Portugal); Zinat Mirhashemi, member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and member of the Central Committee of the Cherik-hay-e Fedaii Organization (OIPFG); Safora Sadidi, member of PMOI Central Council; and a number of chairs of associations and communities and youth supportive of the Iranian Resistance.
Ms. Sarvnaz Chitsaz, Chair of NCRI Women’s Committee, Ms. Zolal Habibi, member of PMOI Central Council, and Ms. Linda Chavez were the moderators of the program.
Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives; Baroness Boothroyd, former speaker of UK House of Commons; US Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez and Judy Chu; and prominent French anthropologist and writer Françoise Heritier sent messages to the conference.
The speakers discussed ways of confronting Islamic extremism as the world's main challenge. Pointing to the successful example of the Iranian Resistance in realizing women's equality and pioneering role in all areas of struggle against fundamentalism, they stressed on Mrs. Rajavi's leadership.
The speakers discussed ways of confronting Islamic extremism as the world's main challenge. Pointing to the successful example of the Iranian Resistance in realizing women's equality and pioneering role in all areas of the struggle against fundamentalism, they stressed on Mrs. Rajavi's leadership.
They declared that women are the main victims of fundamentalism. With solidarity and unity of action, they can play a significant and key role in combating this ominous phenomenon that has surpassed all geographic borders and all limits of violence, today.
The grand gathering featured a performance by a Syrian child depicting the pain and suffering of the people of Syria, performances portraying executions of young Iranian women and the role of mothers of political prisoners, also the tragedy of acid attacks on young women of Iran.