Baha’i Community Prayer Gathering

10 Women of Shiraz Campaign On 18 June 1983 — 40 years ago this month — 10 Baháʼí women were taken to a square in Shiraz, Iran, under the cloak […]

10 Women of Shiraz Campaign

On 18 June 1983 — 40 years ago this month — 10 Baháʼí women were taken to a square in Shiraz, Iran, under the cloak of night. After months of torture and imprisonment, they were mass executed without the knowledge of their families. One was 17, most in their 20s. Their crime was their belief in a faith that promoted gender equality — absent and criminalized in Iran — justice and truthfulness. They were hanged one by one, each forced to watch the next woman’s death in a harrowing attempt to coerce them into renouncing their faith. None did.

Their story, however, is not over. It was a chapter in the unfolding story of Iranian women’s resilience and sacrifice for equality. Following that tragic event and for the four decades that followed, hundreds more Baháʼí women were persecuted — facing discrimination both as women and as Baháʼís – imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Baháʼí women serving in positions of influence in the country were dismissed from their jobs, arrested or killed. Those left to live were barred from universities, public employment and virtually all aspects of social life.

Today, in the blood, tears and wounds of thousands of young women in Iran fighting for equality, we can see the legacy of the 10 women of Shiraz whose tragic death touched the lives of many. We see the same spirit, the same choice being made: to stand up for the principles of justice and equality at any cost, even one’s life. Though mistreated and imprisoned, today’s women — just like those before them — are bravely and joyously sacrificing their all to live in a more prosperous Iran.

The Baha’i International Community has now launched a global campaign, called #OurStoryIsOne, to honor the executed women and the long struggle for equality lived by women of all faiths in Iran for more than four decades which continues to this day. The campaign aims to demonstrate that despite the Iranian government’s efforts to sow discord and hate between groups, that our story is a shared one. We have become unified in our suffering and resilience, in our persecution and unwavering strength to combat oppression and above all to rebuild Iran, whatever sacrifices it takes.

Join us in honouring not only the anniversary of these 10 women but to use it as an opportunity to honour all women who have contributed to building a better Iran through their suffering, to say that our story is one and that through our unity, we will combat oppression.

Examples of action:

  • Produce songs about the 10 women

  • Create short videos about the lives of the 10 women (under 90 seconds)

  • Share a memory you may have had with them

  • Create artistic expressions (ex. drawings, street art)

  • Write an article 

  • Create captivating social media posts

Baha’i Community Prayer Gathering