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6 Powerful Nonprofits Protecting Women, Life, and Freedom in Iran

November 9, 2022
6 minutes

Mahsa Amini was twenty-two years old when she was murdered by police on September 16, 2022 in Tehran, Iran.

Accused of violating Iran’s strict rules for wearing hijab, Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iran’s Morality Police and subjected to brutal beatings suspected to have caused her tragic and untimely death.

In response to Amini’s murder, mass protests against Iran's treatment of women and girls erupted across the country–reigniting the flame of a long history of protest in Iran. Now, with millions of supporters worldwide standing in solidarity, Iranian women are publicly removing their hijabs and cutting their hair in defiance of Iran's discriminatory gender practices. With unyielding determination and undaunted courage, women in Iran are reclaiming years of being relocated to second-class citizens.

While Amini’s death was the catalyst sparking the uprising in Iran, outrage over the gender-based violence that led to her murder amplified national demands for democracy, freedom, and equality for Iranian women. Now, the world is watching as Iran contends with what has been called a new #MeToo movement against the Iranian government.

6 Nonprofits Protecting Women, Life, and Freedom in Iran

Fundraisers know that the best way to build a better world is to support nonprofit organizations doing the heavy lifting to generate meaningful social change.  

As the world stands together in solidarity with Iranian protesters and in defense of Iranian women, we urge you to support nonprofits working to advance human rights and gender justice in Iran. And if you can't make a financial contribution right now, keep scrolling for resources and best practices to help you show solidarity and spread the word!

Here are some awesome nonprofits supporting Iranian women:

🌍 Uniting Against Abuse

Impact Iran is a coalition of 17 non-government human rights organizations that publicly advocate for United Nations members to support resolutions advancing human rights measures in Iran.

🌍 LGBTQIA+ Liberators  

OutRight International is a global human rights nonprofit fighting to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people worldwide. By partnering with local organizations on the ground in Iran, OutRight produces research briefs and explores groundbreaking legal protections for LGBTQIA+ Iranians as well as essential insights into daily life. At a global level, OutRight engages as a consultant with the United Nations to ensure that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is upheld by its member states and that LGBTQIA+ people are protected worldwide.

🌍 Defenders of Decency

Human Rights Watch is fighting human rights abuses in over 90 countries worldwide. As ardent defenders of human decency, HRW documents human rights abuses to expose tyranny, support civilians, and protect vulnerable populations around the world. Their innovative, multimedia reporting on Iran advances global understanding of the abuses happening in the country.

🌍 Advancing Accountability

The Center for Human Rights in Iran is a nonprofit collaboration between human rights journalists, researchers, and advocates dedicated to exposing injustice in Iran. CHRI produces groundbreaking reports and media campaigns aimed at increasing public awareness and advancing the accountability of the Iranian government.

🌍 Champions of Civil Liberties

United for Iran is a network of technologists, experts, and activists leveraging technology to advance civil liberties in Iran. Through innovative public awareness campaigns and newly accessible technologies, United for Iran is empowering Iranian protesters through the power of information.

🌍 Freedom Writers

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center is advancing freedom for Iranians by documenting human rights abuses in Iran through public records. IHRDC believes that transparent and accessible documentation generates vital dialogue about human rights, increases government accountability, and traces patterns of abuse that can be used to inform necessary policy changes.

More Ways to Show Solidarity

As always, there are more ways to contribute! If you're looking for non-monetary alternatives to supporting human rights for Iranians, look no further.

It's About Humanity 💙

Dehumanizing marginalized civilians allows hateful regimes to retain their power. Remember, it's easier to revoke human rights if someone is not recognized as a full person. For decades, Iran has used methods of dehumanization to justify government oppression against women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Advocating for the humanity of Iranian women is essential to ending the state-sanctioned violence against them. The easiest way to advocate for the humanity of others is by educating yourself, amplifying your voice, and leveraging technology to reach others.

Educate yourself  🧠

You can't have humanizing conversations without understanding the subject first. We cannot say we did not know. Here are some helpful ways to learn about Iran:

Amplify your voice 📢

Our voices are the most powerful tools we have in the fight for social good. Sharing a message and spreading the word is vital to change the world. Here are some ways to use your voice to support women in Iran:

  • Start community conversations using helpful frameworks like this resource on facilitating crticial conversations
  • Engage with young people using this resource on talking to kids about social justice issues
  • Share educational resources like this lesson plan from the New York Times
  • Find and attend a protest near you (Middle East Matters posts about protests happening globally on social media)
  • Call your Senators and Representatives to vocalize your support for Iranian protesters and request that they do the same
  • Speak out against hate speech and misinformation using this guide from the United Nations on responding to hate speech

Leverage technology 📲

Technology and social media have given us access to information that was once inaccessible. As a revolutionary instrument for social change, you can use technology to make a powerful difference from behind your keyboard. Here are some ways to spread the word on social media:

Fundraisers, we know better than anyone else that funding freedom is a definitive way to stand in solidarity against oppression. Through direct donations, online engagement, and spreading the word, we can significantly increase the impact of Iranian human rights campaigns.

Funraise Statement of Solidarity with Iranian Women

Funraise stands in solidarity with women and girls fighting for freedom following the murder of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Morality Police in Iran; we believe that all women and girls have the fundamental right to equity, freedom, autonomy, and justice.
As the world comes together to support Iranian women, we encourage you to support nonprofit organizations doing critical work on the ground in Iran.
Protesting injustice and supporting grassroots advocacy is a critical step toward building a more peaceful world; may we take that step together as a global community.
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