On Iranian Women’s Movement

In the last few days, Tehran has been watching numerous protests by women and teachers, pointedly aimed at Ahmadinejad’s inefficient internal policies and confrontational and moronic foreign policy, reminding the Mullahs that women’s rights and support of the working class are more important issues than the nuclear program and Middle East conflicts.

33 female activists have been arrested in recent days and teachers’ protests in front of the Iranian parliament is ongoing. In a recent open letter female activists state,

International Women’s Day is soon upon us as our nation endures a grave period. The internal policies of domination, duress and an ineffectual foreign policy – with an insistence on pursuing a nuclear energy programme – when we have lost the confidence and trust of the world; as the confrontational issues and the continuous warmongering policies of the United State and its allies around the world with the pretext of exporting democracy and human right through sanctions and military attack has presented us with a mounting predicament. On one side – with the absence of a democratic structure – we witness decisions being made on our behalf without our presence or the presence of our legitimate leaders. While at the other end we feel the circle of the siege around us increasingly tighten as we are threatened with sanctions and the nightmare of war….

… we announce our protest against all paternalistic policies, whether they be in the name of dishonest interpretations of Islam or with the pretext of human rights and democracy and we believe what the world community should insist upon debates on democracy and human rights and not nuclear energy, and all within peaceful diplomatic dialogue, not war and destruction….

… Despite all the pressures and obstacles the Iranian women’s movement in now within its most enduring and active periods in recent history.

This article provides some further insight into the matters.

I would like to remind you that Iran’s Women’s movement is an aggressive front and has been so for quite some time, just another feature of the Iranian society setting it aside from most of its neighbors, e.g. Saudi Arabia, where women’s status is largely unknown and women’s movements are unheard of.

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