DHTI Statement on Iran

Diversity in Health Training Institute

"Women. Life. Freedom." This is the chant for the movement unfolding in the streets of Iran calling for an end to the oppressive regime. On September 13th, 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa (Jina) Amini was arrested and beaten by Iran's morality police. Since that day, women of all ages, with men showing up beside them in unprecedented numbers, have taken to the streets to refuse compulsory hijab - to call for 'women, life and freedom', to demand a better reality and future, to sing against injustice, and to believe in justice and seek it. People of all ages and backgrounds have been in the streets calling for accountability and change.

DHTI would like to acknowledge the pain and grief that many in the Iranian diaspora are grappling with as they see the events unfolding in Iran. We recognize that the images on the news and social media affect many immigrants around the world who have to watch their countries hurt from a distance. DHTI, along with Sidra and AllyNetwork teams, stand in solidarity with diasporic communities and applauds the resilience and bravery of those challenging the repressive conditions they are living under whether in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, and beyond. The assault on women's autonomy and freedom is indeed a global issue and women's rights are central to human rights. Women from around the world have come out to support women's rights in Iran, because solidarity is about recognizing our struggles are shared even when our oppressors are different. It is about struggles that cross borders and languages encapsulated in the slogan, "women, life, freedom."

While many of us may feel helpless in this moment, there are ways we can support the struggle in Iran and each other:

  1. Follow the news, participate in protests, and share what you can using the hashtags: #MahsaAmini #Mahsa_Amini #womenlifefreedom #iranprotests Posting about what's happening in Iran, sharing posts and participating in protests makes a difference. It helps people risking their lives for their freedom to keep going. It makes them know they're not alone, that the world is watching and cares.

  2. Reach out to your Iranian and Iranian-American friends; ask them how they are and find out how you can support them.

  3. Encourage your local and national media to keep this story front and center!

  4. Find a mental health provider with access to specific health topics in various languages using DHTI's site.