In her statements, Maryam Rajavi always stresses that the already precarious situation of Iranian workers has recently deteriorated in Iran, due to a general increase in job insecurity and dismissals. According to the Iranian authorities themselves, more than 90% of employees live below the poverty line, and household spending is rising sharply - between 30 and 40% per year - while wages are stagnating, leading to a significant decline in purchasing power. Mrs Maryam Rajavi said that the deplorable conditions of the Iranian labour market have led to an intensification of altercations between workers and the government, with more than 1300 strikes recorded between March 2014 and 2015. On the occasion of International Labour Day, she called on the people to strengthen their resistance to obtain regime change, and highlighted the need to respect fundamental workers' rights, such as freedom of association and expression, the right to strike and to form trade unions.

The political rise of Maryam Rajavi

Maryam Rajavi, born in Tehran in 1953, is a metallurgical engineer by training and graduated from Sharif University of Technology. In 1973, she joined the opposition and led a student movement to resist the Shah's regime. In 1979 she joined the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, a movement promoting a democratic, egalitarian and secular regime in Iran. Visit and read more about Iran politics. Starting her political career by running in the 1980 parliamentary elections - during which she managed to win 1 million votes, in 1981 she took part in major demonstrations against the advent of Khomeini regime and had to go into exile in Paris in 1982. In 1985, she was elected co-leader of WIPO and in 1989 she became the Secretary General of the movement. Maryam Rajavi's high point as an opposition figure occurred in August 1993, when she was elected president of the National Council of Iranian Resistance (CNRI), thus becoming the representative of the Iranian state in exile. It then launched a vast international campaign to denounce the violations of fundamental rights committed in Iran and the fundamentalism of the mullahs' regime.

Leader of the Iranian resistance

Mrs Maryam Rajavi firmly fights the oppressive Iranian regime, which inflicts discrimination, repression and deplorable economic conditions on the national population, keeping it in a state of extreme precariousness. Calling for a change in the current regime, it advocates the establishment of a democratic and egalitarian regime, and it even tried to obtain a referendum under the control of the United Nations to that effect in 2003. Its campaign for democracy in Iran focuses on the establishment of a pluralist and secular regime based on the right to vote, respect for fundamental rights, equality between men and women, impartial and fair justice, the abolition of the death penalty and the abandonment of the Iranian nuclear programme. In particular, Mrs Maryam Rajavi makes it a point of honour to defend the cause of women, considering their rise as a vector of democracy and equality in Iran. Under his chairmanship, women have held positions related to the political, international and social affairs of the CNRI, and make up more than half of the workforce. She regularly gives lectures to defend gender equality in Iran, and constantly proclaims: "Iranian women must free themselves. Freedom is not something free and no one will give it to us on a silver platter. We must build relationships that are free of discrimination and distinction based on gender. Maryam Rajavi is an extraordinary woman who has made her way through the tumultuous world of political opposition in Iran. Leader of the resistance against a repressive power, his fight is a source of inspiration for those who fight against oppression in the world.