Women, Life, and Freedom in Iran

Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies: World Class Podcast


"Women, Life, and Freedom:" this phrase has become the rallying cry of tens of thousands of Iranians around the world. What began as protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman detained by Iran's strict morality police, has become a groundswell in Iran's society unlike anything since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

"Those three words [are] even more progressive than 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,' because women are central to it. It has life. It has joy," says Dr. Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University. He joins Michael McFaul on World Class to discuss what Dr. Milani calls the "seething volcano" of anger, disappointment, and frustration many in Iran feel towards the corruption, cronyism, and economic mismanagement the regime of Iran has perpetrated against its citizens.

Could Mahsa Amini be the spark that sets off a democratic explosion? Milani and McFaul discuss what the latest calls for change might mean for the country, and how a democratic Iran could rewrite the calculus of the global geopolitical stage.