Iranian Women's campaign demands changes to discriminatory laws

Iranian women continue their struggle for equal rights beyond all governmental obstacles. A few days ago, a group of tireless Iranian women activists launched another campaign against discrimination entitled “One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws.”

This demonstration was backed by personalities such as Nasser Zaarafshan, writer and human right activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and several others. Iranian men were also present to support the women's campaign, which was aimed at abolishing discriminatory laws in Iran. Activist women wanted to launch their first day campaign by organizing a seminar at a charity Institute, but government refused them permission and left them behind closed doors. Several Iranian bloggers, both male and female, were present at this gathering and shared their thoughts, photos and feelings.

Arash Ashourinia, a leading photoblogger and journalist, showed us what happened through his photos and words. His blog, Kosoof, features several photos of this gathering, in the street behind closed doors.

Ashourinia says that authorities did not let women came together at the Rad charity Institute. The blogger adds that Iranian women’s rights activists are initiating a wide-ranging campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law:

Campaign, “One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws,” which aims to collect one million signatures to demand changes to discriminatory laws against women, is a follow-up effort to the peaceful protest with the same aim which took place on June 12, 2006 in Haft-e Tir Square in Tehran. Preparation activities in support of this campaign commenced 0n June of 2006 and the campaign will be officially launched on August 27, during a seminar entitled: “The Impact of Laws on Women’s Lives.”

But the authorities did not let them to hold their seminar and claimed that they should get permission from the ministry. According to the current law of Iran, holding seminars & peaceful demonstrations do not require legal permission.

It seems that the lack of a venue for this gathering did not discourage participants, who, according to the blogger, mingled in the street and some of the speakers had chatted with the people present.

Blogger Soheil Asefi adds:

گفتند كه مسئولين ذی ربط به صراحت اعلام كرده اند اين قوانين بر گرفته از شريعت اسلام هستند و در بيشتر كشورهاي اسلامي نيز هيچ اعتراضي به آنها صورت نمي گيرد و اعتراض به اين قوانين در ايران مخالفت با اسلام است. آنگونه كه برخي فعالين جنبش زنان كه به مقامات ذی ربط مراجعه كرده بودند روايت مي كردند توصيه مسئولين، رجوع به كتاب آسماني مسلمانان و پيدا كردن راهي از ميان متون قرآن بوده است.
It is said that authorities told them clearly that these laws are coming from Islamic religion and most Islamic countries there is no protest against them. Protesting against them in Iran is opposing Islam. Some women activists who met with authorities were advised to try to find a solution in the Koran.

Asefi also noted the presence of personalities such as Shirin Ebadi and said the act of closing the doors to participants was illegal [Fa].

Aroosak Kooki said, with some irony, that in Iran it would soon require legal permission just to breathe air [Fa]. Aroosak Kooki noted that because of threats the Institute had closed its doors to the activists, who were nevertheless willing to take signatures and register volunteers. Aroosak Kooki took this as a sign of the activists’ determination to continue and refusal to become discouraged.

Sooratak says that 200 men and women had already signed the campaign and that they would continue until they had gathered the one million signatures and until the discriminatory laws were changed [Fa].

Tadai azad writes that a good thing had happened for her that day, and that she had seen that, to be a good citizen in Iran, you needed to become blind [Fa]. Iran, writes Tadai, is a country where all doors are closed to you the moment you speak the truth.

Harfayi Baraye Nagoftan cites a statement by Nasser Zarafshan, who said that this movement and these ideas should move from up (intellectuals) to down (ordinary people), and that if this movement did not find its way into masses it would stagnate and become ineffective [Fa].


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  • Mullah Khatami (the ex-President of the terrorist Islamic Republic) is coming to the United States:

    The Iranian people are being killed by these terrorist mullah’s which the state department has listed as the world’s no. 1 state-sponsor of terrorism (be it foreign or domestic)!

    Please do what you can to protest this terrorists invitation to the United States and if you are able to attend any demonstrations that will take place at the duration of his visit.

    The United States foreign policy should be that of empowering the Iranian people not their oppressors which have held that country hostage for 27 years and commited mass murders without the international community so much as raising their objections.

  • […] Arash Ashoorinia is a leading photo blogger whose blog, Kosoof, won the Reporters Without Borders prize in the BOBs (Best of the Blogs) competition organized by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Arash’s photos have been published all over the world in publications and on web sites such as the Washington Post and Global Voices. Global Voices‘ Hamid Tehrani recently had the chance to talk with Arash. […]

  • omid varam ke in rahai be omre ma vesal dehad,ya hata be bache haye ma.
    ba tashakor az shoma:simin jafari az esfahan

    Translation of comment by Global Voices editor Hamid Tehrani:

    I hope we see in our life time or our childern’s life time this emanicipation (Women’s freedom).
    Thank you, Simin Jafari from Isfahan

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