Sec. Hillary Clinton, Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland, Oprah Winfrey, Malala, Christine Lagarde, Michelle Obama & Global Women Leaders from Over 14 Countries Sign an Open Letter Calling for UN Action Against Iran

The Open Letter, Published in Sunday’s New York Times, Calls for the Immediate Expulsion of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The world’s preeminent women leaders in business, politics, advocacy and the arts published an open letter in Sunday’s New York Times calling for the immediate removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Signatories of the letter include Sec. Hillary Clinton, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Media Leader & Philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Education Activist Malala Yousafzai, Economic & Political Leader Christine Lagarde, former First Lady of the United States & Advocate of Girls Education Michelle Obama, former Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former head of UN Climate Change Convention Christiana Figueres DBE, former First Lady of the United States & Education Advocate Laura Bush, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Human Rights Activist Nadia Murad and women in leadership positions from 14 countries (and counting).

This global effort—a partnership between Vital Voices, For Freedoms and a coalition of Iranian women leaders—comes amid more than 40 days of worldwide protests launched and led by Iranian women and girls after the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini. The protestors are demanding justice after Amini died on September 16, 2022 while in police custody. Amini was arrested by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly not complying with mandatory hijab laws.

Reports of extreme punishments and harsh crackdowns against protestors by Iranian authorities have flooded international headlines and social media feeds in the weeks since Amini’s death, gaining worldwide attention and scrutiny.

The group of women leaders who signed on to the letter came together in solidarity with Iranian women and girls with a clear call to action: the immediate removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women.

Within the first few days of going live, the letter received more than 21,000 signatures and growing. Additionally, more than 130,000 petitioners have also signed a letter asking for the same outcome on

The open letter states: “We condemn the brutal violence of security forces against peaceful protesters … Earlier this year, to the dismay of women’s rights advocates around the world, Iran began a four–year term on the UN’s 45–member Commission on the Status of Women. This preeminent global body is exclusively dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s long–standing, systematic oppression of women should have disqualified them from election to the CSW.”

The letter also laments the Islamic Republic of Iran’s record on women’s rights, citing gender inequality and legalized discrimination against women regarding marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody cases and attire. These restrictions include the mandate that requires women to wear head coverings at the onset of puberty.

The signatories of the letter warn that the violence and loss of life will continue without global intervention at the highest levels, and that the Commission on the Status of Women will lose credibility each day the Islamic Republic of Iran remains a member.

“This is a critical moment for leaders in the international community to vocally and unequivocally demonstrate their support for women’s rights by standing in solidarity with Iranian women and girls,” states the letter.

Members of the public are invited to read the full letter here. To join the movement, sign on here.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Now celebrating 25 years, Vital Voices Global Partnership has directly invested in more than 20,000 women leaders across 184 countries and territories since its inception in 1997. Driven by the universal truth that women are the key to progress in their communities and nations cannot move forward without women in leadership positions, Vital Voices has provided early support for leaders who went on to become Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, U.S. Youth Poet Laureates, prime ministers, award-winning innovators, pioneering human rights defenders, and breakthrough social entrepreneurs, including Amanda Gorman and Malala Yousafzai. In an effort to advance and expand this work, in 2022 Vital Voices opened the doors to the world’s first global embassy for women, the Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership. It is a first-of-its-kind space that allows for convening, innovation, planning, and action—all in the pursuit of serving women leaders who are taking on the world’s greatest challenges.

About For Freedoms
For Freedoms is an artist collective that centers art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation.

By wielding the power of art, we aim to deepen and expand our capacity to interrogate what is and imagine what could be.

Together, we seek infinite expansion.


Vital Voices Global Partnership

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Nghitumbwa and Ndjolonimus dazzle at Ramatex

Fillipus ‘Energy’ Nghitumbwa retained his World Boxing Organisation Super Bantamweight Title when he stopped South Africa’s Sabelo Ngebinyange in the 11th round at Ramatex in Windhoek on Saturday evening.

The two boxers had gone toe to toe from the opening round, exchanging blows, with Nghitumbwa inflicting serious damage to Ngebinyange’s right eye in the ninth round.

The South African was knocked down at the end of the ninth round before being severely punished with body shots in the 10th round.

Sensing that his opponent was hurt, Nghitumbwa landed several shots to the South African boxers’ rib cage area, leading to his corner throwing in the towel to protect their boxer from further injury in the 11th round.

The victory saw Energy improve his record to 17 fights, 16 wins and one defeat while Ngebinyange suffered his sixth loss from 21 fights with 15 victories.

In the supporting bout, Paulinus ‘John John’ Ndjolonimus scored a devastating seventh-round technical knockout (TKO) victory over Delali Miledzi from Ghana via a powerful left hook three seconds from the end of the round.

The West African Super Middleweight Champion had shown good boxing skills and intelligent ring movement before falling onto the left hook shot as he was trying to land a punch on the Namibian.

The Ghanaian boxer was left needing medical attention and was immediately rushed to the hospital for a routine check-up following his knockout.

The victory saw Ndjolonimus retain his WBO Africa Super middleweight title and improve his record to 15 victories from 15 matches.

It was Miledzi’s first defeat.

In other matches, Namibia’s Charles Shinima accounted for Nigeria’s Tiwo Olowu via a seventh TKO, with the visitor refusing to come out from his corner after six rounds of battering.

Mateus Heita beat Hassan Milanzi of Zimbabwe in the sixth round via a TKO, but the Namibian lost his titles because he failed the weigh-in on Friday as their WBO and World Boxing Association Africa Super bantamweight fight was reduced to a non-title fight.

The fight between Max Ipinge and Shipau Dicor could not take place as the latter also failed the weigh-in, coming onto the scales more than 10 kilograms underweight.

Other fights saw Margret Nepembe beat Onesmus Nekundi via a split decision, while Tobias Iipinge lost to Fredrick Ngutenanye.

Sam Mathews beat Silas Shangadjua and Joseph Hihangwa lost to Andreas Shikongo.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

SADC Troika to support ongoing political reforms in Lesotho: Geingob

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation will continue to support the Kingdom of Lesotho in the realization of the ongoing political reforms in that country.

President Hage Geingob said this when he chaired a meeting of the SADC Organ Troika in Maseru, Lesotho and also witnessed the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Sam Matekane.

A media statement issued on Sunday by the Presidency said Geingob convened a meeting of the SADC Troika with the objective of reviewing the progress of SADC decisions in the Kingdom of Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Congo.

“Geingob thanked the Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho and the people for a free and peaceful election as had been reflected in the reports of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission,” the statement read.

Geingob said following the successful conclusion of the general election in Lesotho, the leaders of the Organ Troika expressed satisfaction with the progress in that country and agreed to accompany the country with ongoing reforms in order to consolidate democracy and stability.

With regard to the political situation in Mozambique, the SADC Secretariat was tasked with the preparation of an updated report on the SADC Mission in Mozambique.

Meanwhile, the Troika leaders also discussed the status of the SADC Force Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo and resolved to hold consultations with authorities there and to continue strengthening dialogue with the United Nations, the statement concluded.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency