This letter is from Mary Ellen Tamulonis, a member of Champlain Valley Amnesty International.

As a parent, I believe it is our responsibility to empower our children, especially our daughters.

Discrimination because of gender in the workplace, attaining leadership positions, and suppressing their voices is no longer tolerated. Sadly, this is not looked upon as a basic human rights in many countries.

In today’s political climate and division over covid restrictions, it’s easy to miss the irony of national decisions that do not affect us personally. In April, Iran was voted, by secret ballot, to the United Nations’ “Commission on the Status of Women."

This commission is dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Executive Director of the UN Watch, Hillel Neure, commented “electing the Islamic Republic of Iran to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief."

Iran’s persecution of women is gross and systematic, both in law and in practice.

As a member of the Champlain Valley Amnesty International group, we have been advocating for three women who were imprisoned for their peaceful demonstration against forced veiling laws and two women human rights’ defenders.

Would it surprise you to learn that these women are among the top ten harshest prison sentences given to women in Iran? Is there something wrong with this picture? The unsanitary prison conditions, as well as mental and physical abuse, women in Iranian prisons are subjected to is well documented by Amnesty International.

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