Now, after centuries of silence, women have found their voices and are themselves becoming vehicles for the changes and advancements of the world.
It is quite a wonder to discover that the first Women's Rights Martyr was not even a westerner. She was from Iran, a country still known for its oppression of women. Her name was Tahirih (The Pure One) or Quarratu'l-Ayn. (Solace of the Eyes)
Tahirih was an early promoter of women’s rights and sacrificed her life rather than give up her beliefs. Born as Fatimih brarghani into a prominent clerical family in 1814, Tahirih was an exceptional woman for her time and place, attaining a high level of education and winning a considerable reputation for her scholarship and poetry.
Although many in the west believe the modern movement for women ‘s rights began in the USA that same year, thoughtful historians also recognized Tahirih as among the earliest of the suffragettes. Intrepid and outspoken, she did not allow the social dictates of her society to held her back from reaching her potential. In her deeds, she openly proclaimed the equality of men and women, at one point boldly stripping off her veil in public. A woman appearing unveiled, especially in context of the time and country in which she lived, was perceived as a sign of promiscuity and a grave transgression against the clergy and even God Himself. At that time, women in Iran were considered less than second-class citizens, unable to own property, vote or even expect to receive much of an education.
She paid a terrible price for her courageous acts. Her husband, who objected to her beliefs, imprisoned her for some time and when she escaped she was forced to leave her children behind, never to see them again.
Tahirih was martyred for her beliefs in 1852, just four years after the First Women's rights Convention, which was held in Seneca Falls, New York .
Her last words offered a stirring vision of the future: "You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN."
With Loving Greetings,
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