Women are instrumental in bringing change; even when they have fewer rights, fewer choices and fewer civil liberties.
Women were instrumental in ending slavery, even while being unable to vote. They have always been at the forefront of social change, even if they saw little of it for themselves.
Most people have seen or heard of the woman killed during Iranian protests regarding the fixed voting system last week. Her name was Neda Soltani and she has become the face of the opposition who dares to fight against the injustices and status quo of Iran.
She was seen dying on camera. Her death, due to a gunshot to the heart, took about two minutes. It was all captured live and has been seen on TVs and websites around the world. Disturbing, saddening and maddening. And somehow, inspirational.
No death of an innocent bystander should be "inspirational". But in this instance, and under these circumstances, it has to be. It must be. Otherwise it was all in vain. How could the death of a young woman mean nothing?
Neda was not actively demonstrating. She left her car due to the traffic jams caused by the protests and was walking on a street using her cell phone, when she was shot in the heart. Some say it wasn't a stray bullet.
She was indeed sympathetic to the opposition movement. She was a student of philosophy at a university and worked as a travel agent to pay the bills. Just your average 26 year old, trying to make her way in the world. Except her world was Iran. The women of Iran have more rights than certain other countries in this area of the world but they have far fewer rights than men. Yet it is a woman that has become the face of strength and defiance. What a shame she had to be murdered for this to happen. But how ironic that her death, meant to suppress the opposition, has only served to strengthen it and bring international attention to the movement.
Do you think Neda's story will really make change in Iran - not just in the government, but for all men, women and children?
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