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Humaira Abid: Standing Up For Women's Rights Under Islam and Around the World

Women’s rights are front and center as Iran erupts in anger at its oppressive extremely conservative government. The protests started after Mahsa Amini died from being beaten by the so-called morality police. Two 16 year old girls Sarina Esmailzadeh and Nika Shakrami, have also died in the protests.

Pakistani-born artist Humaira Abid created all of the work in “Fight like a Girl,” her most recent Seattle exhibition at Greg Kucera Gallery, before the current protests. But throughout her career she has taken a stand to speak out about issues pertaining to women that are rarely discussed.

Abid points out that the term “Fight Like a Girl” has been used to denigrate girls, suggesting that they don’t fight as well as boys, but her point of view is that girls are strong, determined, and fight for everything they get. In Iran women by the thousands are leading the nation-wide protests, and they persist in the defiance of widespread violence against them by the government.

Iran, as Resa Aslan points out in his essay “From Here to Mullahcracy” has a democratic constitution that clerics discarded: “ what had begun as a vibrant experiment in Islamic democracy…” turned into a “state ruled by an inept clerical oligarchy with absolute religious power.” Iran is not a theocracy, Aslan explains, because of that constitution which “enshrined fundamental freedoms of speech, religion, education, and peaceful assembly.“ It is those discarded rights that the people of Iran, both men and women, are demanding.