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Women Life Freedom: supporting women in Iran

October 20, 2022

On September 16, 2022, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman named Mahsa (Zhina) Amini was killed by Iran’s morality police for wearing her hajib incorrectly. Her tragic death immediately catalyzed a wave of protests led by young women that has swept across Iran. With women at the forefront, the protests have unified Iranians across gender, ethnicity and religion in their united call for equality, democracy, and the downfall of the Islamic Republic. The recent wave of protests is part of a long struggle for freedom and equality that has spanned over 150 years and successive governments in Iran. The women’s movement in Iran is spreading to places where ordinary people live. It is giving a voice to women who have suffered for a very long time and have not had a voice in the past. Protesters face incredible personal risk – including police brutality and arrest/disappearance – and already hundreds of protesters, including dozens of children, have been killed. The women who lead this fight for their rights and for freedom for all of Iran have inspired the world in their absolute fearlessness and bravery. “Women! Life! Freedom!” now echoes through the streets of Iran, a slogan initially from in the Kurdish feminist movement (Jin Jiyan Azadi)

All woman deserve safety and freedom no matter where in the world they live. In all my life I have never had the need to question my freedom, yet many women in Iran have never know it. They have been controlled and oppressed for decades.

Watching the video footage of what was happening was shocking and gut wrenching. I decided to consult with a few Iranian people to see what a person like myself, that was far away and not connected to Iran, could do to help. The response was to draw attention to what was happening in Iran, and to keep the conversation going online. So I reached out on Instagram to put together a group of quilters that were either Iranian or had Iranian family members.

This quilt block pattern is a collaboration between myself and these people and their families. Their valuable contribution to the pattern helps to tell the story and importance of this moment in history, for both Iranian people and for women worldwide. I am so grateful to them for all their help and for agreeing to tell their personal stories.

The finished block size is 24″ x 18″ the perfect size for a protest banner, and some of these quilty banners have already made it to protests around the world. The block could of course also be made into a quilt if additional blocks are added. I suggest looking to the exquisite art and pattern designs throughout Iranian history for inspiration for potential additional blocks. (Persian star etc)

The Women Life Freedom pattern is priced low to make it accessible for all, and is available here.

FREE DOWNLOADABLE POSTERS:

In addition to the pattern, I have created free downloadable posters that you can print out and stick in your home or business window. When I was designing the quilt block I came up with two concepts – the women protester and a second design which had a banner to symbolize the falling headscarf and a red tulip, which in Iran is a symbol of the blood of martyrs. I chose the protester women to create the quilt block pattern as I thought it spoke better to the moment, however you can decide which you prefer for your usage.

There are TWO SIZES, letter and tabloid size, and each option comes with TWO DESIGNS – one that is the same as the quilt block pattern and the other that was an alternative design concept for the pattern. Note that you will need to print each design separately as one is horizontal format and the other is vertical. I

MPORTANT NOTE: These posters are free to use and distribute for the purposes of supporting the people of Iran and to bring attention to the protests. THEY MAY NOT BE EDITED OR SOLD FOR MONEY in any way. Please respect the copyright laws. Thank you.

Letter / A4-size posters available here:

Tabloid / A3-size posters available here.

Since the death of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini Iranian women are being detained, beaten and killed by their own government. The courage shown by these people taking to the streets to fight back is incredible. They have asked the world to support them by keeping the protests in focus. Let’s rally behind them, and show that we see and hear them. I ask you to make a quilt block / banner, print out the posters above or design your own poster and hang somewhere visible, send it to an Iranian friend, or march with it at one of the protests happening around the world. Talk about it online and denounce this violent and deadly treatment of women in Iran.

When you hurt one, you hurt all.

Together we make the world a better place. ❤️ Berene

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