Imam Khomeini's opinion on the women's role in forming Islamic revolution of Iran
Women are the vanguard of this movement
You courageous women were and continue to be in the vanguard of our triumph. 6 March 1979 (15 Isfand 1357 AHS)
You ladies have proved that you are in the vanguard of the movement, you have proved that you lead the men, men get their inspiration from you, the men of Iran have learnt lessons from the honourable ladies of Iran and the men of Qum have learnt lessons from you dear ladies. You are in the vanguard of the movement.
8 March 1979 (17 Isfand 1357 AHS)
Women at the forefront of the movement encouraging the men
They are in the front line because the men are made brave by them, are emboldened by their struggles. 6 April 1979 (17 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
You ladies here have proved that your are at the forefront of this movement. You have a great share in our Islamic movement. The future of our country depends on your support.
10 April 1979 (21 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
May God keep you all. This victory has come to us first and foremost because of the women rather than the men. Our respected women were in the front line.
12 April 1979 (23 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
The men found strength and courage because of our dear women. We are indebted to you ladies for your pains, and you are all, as indeed all the people are, in my prayers.
12 April 1979 (23 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
I thank you respected ladies who took part in this movement shoulder-to-shoulder with your brothers, or, more accurately who led them. I hope you will once again be in the front line and will take this movement to its culmination so that, God willing, an Islamic government will be established and all segments of the population, all the deprived, will attain the rights that are legitimately theirs. May God protect you and keep you for Islam and the Muslims.
24 April 1979 (4 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Ladies, are the leaders of our movement
The great name of the Iranian nation has been established internationally for its political development. The great name of Qum has gone down in the history of the Iranian nation for its political development, its activism and its self-sacrifice. The great name of Chahar Mardan has gone down in the history of the world for its devotion and self-sacrifice. The great name of the Iranian ladies, the great name of the ladies of Qum and the great name of the ladies of Chahar Mardan have gone down (in history). The ladies of Qum and Chahar Mardan spearheaded this Islamic movement. They proved their political maturity; they led the movement. You, the ladies, are the leaders of our movement; we follow you. I accept your leadership and am at your service.
25 April 1979 (5 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Our movement is indebted to women
Our movement is indebted to them. The men poured into the streets after the women; the women encouraged the men; they formed the vanguard. Women are creatures who can destroy a power that seems everlasting, a demonic power.
16 May 1979 (26 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Stand together all of you, all of you must stick together. You play an important part in this movement, one can even go so far as to say that it was the ladies who took this movement forward because they poured into the streets even though they were not expected to do so. This dispelled any fears the men may have had, it emboldened them to see the women doing something, it gave them courage. It was you who gave Islam this victory; you participated in this triumph. Keep on participating. 1 June 1979 (11 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
I thank you respected ladies who have travelled far to come and see me. May God grant you all happiness and well being. I thank you for being at the forefront of this movement. The ladies of Iran were in the vanguard of this movement, like the ladies in the early days of Islam, and it was taken forward because of them. I hope you will continue to advance this movement even further.
18 June 1979 (28 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
The ladies who have come here have a great part to play in this movement, they are partners or rather one should say they are the leaders. 2 July 1979 (11 Tir 1358 AHS)
We are indebted to the ladies much more than we are their brave men folks. The ladies in Iran played a great role, for when they came out into the streets the men were spurred on, their morale strengthened two-fold, nay several-fold, even though they had nothing save the power of faith.
25 August 1979 (3 Shahrivar 1358 AHS)
I hope that you ladies who always spearheaded this movement, guiding the other ladies and making others stronger in the process, will be successful, happy and healthy, God willing. I hope that just as you have reached this stage through unity of purpose and the power of faith, so too, hereafter, you all, all the nation, will promote Islam step by step, so that eventually all our affairs are handled in conformance with the decrees of Islam. Peace be upon you all.
13 September 1979 (22 Shahrivar 1358 AHS)
When you ladies came into the streets and entered the battle arenas, it gave the men renewed strength and boosted their morale. You have a great part to play in this movement and we are still only half way there. 13 September 1979 (22 Shahrivar 1358 AHS)
It was women who renewed men's strength
We must thank the ladies who were steadfast in this movement and who helped the nation greatly. It was these women who spurred on the men and renewed their strength several-fold when they spilled out into the streets and alleys crying out. Thus, in addition to making themselves stronger, they made others stronger too. 10 October 1979 (18 Mehr 1358 AHS)
Women are sometimes observed taking part in the Crusade for Reconstruction. Of course, they are not able to work like a farmer or like people who are accustomed to such tasks, but the very fact that they have joined the farmers and are helping to the best of their ability is enough to spur the farmers on and give them several times the strength. When they see these female students and these respected ladies are willing to come from the towns and cities to help their brothers in the villages, it has an encouraging effect on them. The action of these ladies is a very valuable one, even though it may not produce much in terms of volume, its psychological value is very great.
10 October 1979 (18 Mehr 1358 AHS)
You sisters played a worthy role in this movement. You helped in everything, leading the men and making them strong. I thank you for this. 12 October 1979 (20 Mehr 1358 AHS)
You went through a great deal of hardship, may God keep you all. All these men and women of this country, in particular the ladies, who were in the front line of this movement and suffered much hardship so that Islam could be brought into effect, they all wanted an Islamic republic to be established, divine justice to be implemented. 16 December 1979 (25 Azar 1358 AHS)
Women fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the men
The service the men performed also owes much to the service rendered by the women. Men have a certain sensitivity where women are concerned, so if they see women leaving their homes to fulfil a certain aim, they are encouraged and made stronger by this. This is what happened in our country. The women left their homes and shoulder-to-shoulder with the men, or rather ahead of them, struggled and suffered for this Islamic cause, giving their young ones, their husbands and their brothers and yet continuing to struggle, to act and to support Islam. And the men, many of them following in their footsteps, did the same. 31 December 1979 (10 Dey 1358 AHS)
You noble people saw for yourselves how the esteemed and committed women of Iran entered the arena ahead of the men and destroyed the great imperial barrier. We are all indebted to them for rising up and taking action. 5 May 1980 (15 Urdibihisht 1359 AHS)
This movement rose from the soul of the masses, the soul of the ordinary men and women, and just as the men entered the arena, so too did the esteemed ladies. Indeed
one must say that they played a greater part in this movement than the men; they made more effort. For when the ladies take action, it spurs the men on, it doubles their strength or even bolsters it ten-fold, because men cannot simply stand by and watch as the women take action. 12 July 1980 (21 Tir 1359 AHS)
The ladies do not come out (into the streets) and risk their lives and those of their children for some personal benefit or position. It is Islam and the Qur’an, which brings them out and into the political scene alongside, or rather ahead of, the men. 12 July 1980 (21 Tir 1359 AHS)
These commentators should realise the profundity of what has taken place in Iran. When during these past fifty years, or these past ten or twenty years which are easier for you to remember, can you recall a time when women entered the battlefield along with the men and began leading the men? 12 July 1980 (21 Tir 1359 AHS)
A nation whose women stand in the front line for advancing the aims of Islam will not be harmed.
18 August 1980 (27 Murdad 1359 AHS)
I thank you esteemed ladies who have travelled great distances from the border regions to be here today. I hope that just as hitherto you have been determined in your efforts to bring to fruition the plans of the Islamic Republic, so too from here on you will maintain that resolve and with serried ranks in front of the men you will be active in advancing the aims of Islam.
19 August 1980 (28 Murdad 1359 AHS)
If the role of the women was not greater than that of the men, it was certainly no less. Their presence on the various fields of battle made the faint-hearted strong and doubled the strength of the strong. And you yourselves can vouch for the fact that the role of you ladies throughout this Islamic movement, this Islamic revolution, has been greater. For you were both active yourselves and inspired the men to be active too. You have been a source of pride and it is much appreciated.
8 April 1984 (19 Farvardin 1363 AHS)
If a number of women enter an arena, let us say a war arena, then in addition to the fighting they do, they also act as inspiration for the men, emboldening them. For where women are concerned men are very sensitive. It is not the case that if they embark on a defence (of their country), they do so alone, no, they defend, but they also inspire others to take part in that defence. Men are sensitive where women are concerned. If a man sees a hundred men being killed, he may not be moved, but if he sees one woman, even a woman who is a stranger to him, being treated disrespectfully, his sensitivity will force him to react. Thus your spearheading role in all affairs, including matters of defence, jihad and assisting in the war effort, will encourage the men to do more, it will embolden them. 2 March 1985 (11 Isfand 1363 AHS)
. . . Hitherto we have been successful in our aims, and we attribute much of that success to the service rendered by you ladies, and for that we are deeply indebted to you. You are the ones who, in addition to the activities you yourselves carry out, redouble the activities of the men. You are the ones who suffered psychological torture during the taghut era. Praise be to God, with your strength and your commitment you expunged this devilish force from the pages of history and stopped the plans they were brewing up from being realised. God knows that if it were not for this movement and the efforts of the Iranian people, women and men, young and old alike, this nation would have lost everything. 12 March 1985 (21 Isfand 1363 AHS)
- Chahar Mardan: a district in the city of Qum the people of which played a very significant role in the struggle against the Shah’s regime.