Foreign Ministry celebrates International Women’s Day honoring Iranian women

  Liraz Charhi at International Women’s Day (photo credit: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS)
Liraz Charhi at International Women’s Day
LIraz Charhi at International Women’s Day

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs celebrated International Women’s Day in March with a performance of Israeli singer of Persian origins Liraz Charhi, in order to honor the courage of the women of Iran protesting against Tehran’s oppressive regime. The event was organized in cooperation with the ministry’s Gender Equality commissioner and the Cultural Diplomacy Division.

“We at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs want to dedicate this Women's Day to the women of Iran and to their courageous protest against a violent and oppressive regime, which has declared war against Israel and the West, but also against them,” said Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (Credit: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS)
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (Credit: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS)

“These wonderful women are an example to the world,” he added. “Many of them are risking their lives for the most basic rights of freedom and self-expression. As a result, this year, with his guidance, the Foreign Ministry building was illuminated in solidarity with the fight for Iranian women

Born in Ramla to an Iranian Jewish family who fled Iran just before the Islamic Revolution, since 2018 Liraz has been singing in Farsi. Her songs quickly became a hit in the country of origin of her parents.

"Very quickly I started receiving videos of women at underground parties taking off their headscarves and dancing to my songs," the singer, who also starred in the world acclaimed series “Tehran,” said.

These videos marked the beginning of Liraz’s romance with Iran. She got in touch with some local artists on Instagram who agreed to collaborate with her on her second album.

"My producer and I would sit in his studio in Herzliya and we would watch the Iranian musicians playing on my album in their studio in Tehran," she recalled. "It was like magic. I felt like I was finding my place where my roots belong, a place that I had been looking for, for so long and had not found."

In 2020, the new album titled Zan (“women” in Farsi) came out and became an international success.

Some of Liraz’s songs focusing on ideas like freedom and resistance have become popular among the protesters in Iran. In the past few months, the artist has been working to keep the spotlight on the fight against the Iranian regime, campaigning for the freedom of women.

"They are looking for freedom in a country that has imprisoned and silenced them," Liraz said. "For them, I represent freedom.”

“Liraz's songs, story and impressive presence have persuaded me that it was important that  the event to mark International Women's Day at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs focused on supporting the protest of the women of Iran,” said Revital Malka, head of the Music Desk at the Cultural Diplomacy Division.

“This is exactly how diplomacy meets culture,” she added. “The collaboration between Liraz and anonymous Iranian women and the songs they secretly recorded together that later became a symbol of the protests embody the power of art and music to bring together peoples and cultures.”

According to Hamutal Rogel, the Gender Equality Commissioner, in spite of all progress made by women, there is still a need to fight for equality. “The reality is that women are still not found in equal numbers in the centers of power and decision-making,” she said. “Women still do not receive equal pay, and are exposed to physical, economic and health insecurities at much higher rates than men.”

“The fight is not over yet, but we are here to win it," she vowed.

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