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The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

A Voice No Prison Can Contain

Human rights trailblazer Narges Mohammadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday October 6th, 2023.
On+Friday%2C+October+6th%2C+Narges+Mohammadi+was+announced+the+winner+of+the+2023+Nobel+Peace+Prize.
Narges Mohammadi in VOA archive / Wikimedia Commons
On Friday, October 6th, Narges Mohammadi was announced the winner of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize.

On Friday, October 6th, Narges Mohammadi was announced the winner of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. She received this honor as a form of recognition to her fight for gender equality and activism in Iran. Mohammadi is a former journalist, as well as the Vice President of the Defender of Human Rights Center — an Iranian human rights organization.

However, unlike many winners, Mohammadi did not receive the award while sitting in the comfort of her home. She won it behind bars — in a jail cell. As a woman in Iran, her  life was always at risk. Iran is ranked 143 of 146 countries for gender equality.

Mohammadi’s activism focuses on the control and oppression of women imposed by the current governmental regime.

In 1983, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini enacted a law requiring all women to wear a hijab in public. Fines and time in prison were granted to any woman who disobeyed. Despite a rise in protests from Iranian citizens over the past few years– ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini in September of 2022– the Islamic government has only cracked down on the severity of restrictions and punishment.

Mohammadi described her perspective on these laws as a patriarchal idea to benefit the men of their society and to further use their religious beliefs as a catalyst to female oppression.

Mohammadi did not receive the award while sitting in the comfort of her home. She won it behind bars.

“Imagine Iranian women who, for 44 years, have been forced to wear a head covering, long coats, and dark-colored pants in the summer heat, and in some places, black chadors,” Mohammadi told CNN. “Worse than that, they have been under psychological pressure to strictly adhere to compulsory hijab, all to preserve the image of religious Islamic men and ensure the security and purity of women.”

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has also spoken extensively on the topic of sexual assault against women, primarily in retention facilities in Iran. In her book White Torture, she includes the testimonies of women (whom she had interviewed) who have undergone sexual violence and mistreatment in solitary confinement from prison authorities in the Islamic Republic.

Mohammadi, more than any other Iranian, has articulated the correlation between the suppression of women in Iran and the rise in sexual violence in recent years.

In a letter to CNN, she wrote, “Women who experience sexual harassment become filled with anger, fear, and insecurity, but when their womanhood is hidden and suppressed by ideological and religious claims, they will not only be angry and terrified, but they will also feel deceived and manipulated by the government, which is even more distressing.”

Imprisonment is not the only punishment Mohammadi has had to face for her heroic work. She has not seen with her children for over eight years.

Her son, Ali, told CNN, “I am really proud of my mom,” Ali told CNN. “She was not always with us, but whenever she was, she took good care of us… she was a good mom and still is… I have accepted this kind of life now. Any suffering that I have to endure does not matter.”

While awarding Narges Mohammadi the greatest humanitarian prize in the world does not directly affect the effort for women’s equality in Iran, the recognition of such a prominent figure in the fight is crucial to grab the attention of those in power around the world.

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Editors’ note: All opinions expressed on The Uproar are a reflection solely of the beliefs of the bylined author and not the journalism program at NASH.  We continue to welcome school-appropriate comments and guest articles.

 

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About the Contributor
Ava DiGiacomo, Opinions Editor
This is Ava's second year writing for the NASH Uproar. She loves writing about her passions and is looking forward to being the Opinions editor. When she is not writing, she spends her times doing work for NA For Change and hanging with friends or listening to music.

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    Silloo KapadiaOct 12, 2023 at 8:13 pm

    Ava, we enjoyed reading your article on Narges Mohammadi and we agree wholeheartedly that she is an inspiration to you and your friends. We are so proud of you!
    Grandma and Papa
    Silloo Kapadia

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