posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 04:59 PM
TEHRAN BUREAU] As pictures of women, young and old, religious and non-religious, have plastered our Internet and TV screens chanting and
bleeding for a recount in what many in Iran believe has been a fraudulent presidential election result in June 2009, their extraordinary heroism and
sheer numbers have awaken the international media to the sizable female presence in the Iranian Green Movement (Nehzat-e Sabz).
A poignant question to ask at this point might be where and what are the positions of Iranian feminists inside the country. They have been for long at
work demanding their civil liberties. To what extent are they now participating in defining the goals and aspirations of the Green Movement?
Unknown to perhaps many outside Iran, the Iranian women’s rights movement has been relentlessly working and expanding its demands for an end to
gender discrimination in a country where in the realm of family and penal law, women are treated as second-class citizens. Since the 1990’s various
NGO’s, magazines such as Zanan, individual lawyers, and specific campaigns such as the One Million Signatures and the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign
have worked relentlessly and across ideological divides to publicize, mobilize and realize their specific demands for women’s rights in the legal
sphere. The women we have been seeing marching in the streets of Tehran, Shiraz and elsewhere did not grow like mushrooms out of nowhere. They are
the robust children of decades of sustained and grassroots struggle.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
TehranBureau is an independent news outlet staffed by Iranian dissidents. There have been a number of news articles written about the contribution of
Iranian women to the current "Green Wave," written by western journalists and others, but this one is perhaps the most in-depth look at the subject
that I have seen so far.
It amazes me that in a country where so few women are even employed, there is, and continues to be, such a vibrant feminist presence. Feminism is
evidently not a new movement in Iran, but women are now flocking to the dissidents' cause in the hope that a new regime will be more open to their
aspirations for more freedom and equality.
It's easy for me, as a westerner, to criticize Iran for its oppression of women. I feel sure that the present regime will view the participation of
women in the current protests as a sign of its decadence, and the corruption of Iranian women by the secular and western media in particular. It is
interesting to see that aspirations for greater religious and secular liberty are not limited to one society or region of the world.