Americans like to thank Barack Obama or George Bush or even Twitter for Iran’s revolution, but the real movers and shakers are Iran’s women, writes Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post. They’ve spent years organizing and campaigning for equal rights, and their presence in the streets “could strike the deepest blow against the regime.” By rejecting the theocracy’s gender discrimination, tens of thousands of women are rejecting its supposedly divine authority, too.
It’s no coincidence that Mir Hossein Mousavi promised more rights for women and made his wife, a political science professor, a major part of his campaign. Middle East experts say stability, security, and oil are more important than “women’s issues.” “But regimes that repress the civil and human rights of half their population are inherently unstable,” writes Applebaum. “There has to be a backlash. In Iran, we’re watching it unfold.”