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Widening Gender Divide and Increasing Impoverishment of Women

One of the most telling indicators of economic, political and cultural development, gender equality and the empowerment of women, isstreet vendors in Gilan Iran women’s share of economic resources and their influence in the country’s economy. According to agreements and official documents of international gatherings on women, ‘promoting development, eradicating poverty, promoting and achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment are among effective factors for the realisation of human rights (World Conference on Women, 1995), and governments have a duty to plan for these and to implement them.

Therefore, one of the most important indicators of development is the rate of employment among women and its effect on the country’s economy. From this point of view, Iran has a deplorable rating, even among the countries of the region. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesdays – Special Days for Imprisoned Mothers and their Little Children

Narges Mohammadi, the human rights activist who has spent years in the Islamic Republic’s prisons for trumped up charges, has written a report on the visiting day in the women’s ward of Evin Political Prison in Tehran.Narges Mohammadi and kids

“There are special days in Evin prison that mean a lot to the imprisoned women. Eight of 31 women held there, namely Maryam Akbarimonfared, Leila Jama’at, Nigara Afsharzadeh, Nargess Mohammadi, Zahra Zehtabchi, Fatemeh Mossana, Azita Rafeezadeh and Nazanin Zaghari have very young children.
According to prison regulations, very young children can visit their mothers on Wednesdays from 1 to 2 PM. The meetings are held inside the prison hall and observed by prison guards and 5 CCTV cameras. The children are accompanied by their families to the prison’s gate, and then guided by the officials from there towards the meeting hall to see their mothers for about an hour.
On Wednesdays, all the mothers in the women’s ward are excited and look forward to seeing their kids. Azita begins to Read the rest of this entry »

The poor reduced to sheltering in Graves, and the Regime’s Response

In recent weeks the scenes of destitute men, women and children taking shelter from the bitter cold in empty graves has shocked the people of grave-dwellersIran. In December 2016, the daily Shahrvand reported that in the Municipality of Shariar in Western Province of Tehran, the cold of winter has forced around 50 homeless people who usually sleep in cardboard covers, to take shelter in 20 of the 300 graves that have been prepared for burials in the large scale graveyard of Nasir Abad Baghestan. The reporter found 3-4 people occupying each of the graves that are 1.5 meters deep. Some homeless families live in tents in the area around the graveyard or under the viaduct. The homeless shelter here during the night. In the course of the day they leave their meagre belongings in the graves and try to source food or beg in the surrounding area. Their belongings which consist of torn blankets or clothes are prone to being stolen by other grave-dwellers. These graves are a short distance from those that house the dead following daily burials nearby.
According to the cemetery’s keeper, the grave-dwellers first moved in about a month previously. The boundary wall is low enough for them to scale it and although the officials had chased them away, they would keep returning. Many of them were picked up by the police and moved to ‘camps’ (for the homeless) but they escaped and returned to the graveyard. He also thought that: “nearly all of them are drug addicts. There are two women and an 8 year old child. They are also addicts. Opposite the cemetery, 100 meters away, there is also an old woman with two sons and her daughters-in-law and grand-children living in a tent. The old woman and one of her sons are addicts. There are more of them. A bit further along, under the bridge, there are a couple who have come from the provinces. They also live in a tent but they aren’t addicts.” Read the rest of this entry »

Workers and Youth Beaten and Flogged, while ‘Fat Cats’ Are Left Free to Do as They Please

The Public Prosecutor of the city of Qazvin in Iran announced that 35 students who were celebrating their graduation were flogged 90 lashes, in order to deter others from mixed shalagh-495x335parties and drinking alcohol.
This flogging was not the only one in that week. In another incident the workers of the Mine of Agh Darreh, who had been laid off were flogged and fined. Their solicitor told ILNA that each worker was given between 30 to 100 lashes.
Around eight o’clock in the evening of 27th December 2015 three workers who had been sacked from the Gold Mine of Agh Darreh attempted suicide in protest at losing their jobs. One of the three lost his life. The main contractor, Puya Zarkan which had sacked 350 workers at the mine, was already in the public eye and this event created much adverse publicity for it. It complained to the courts against the protesting workers. The public prosecutor brought a case against 17 workers, as a result. The first charge against the workers was rioting. In Read the rest of this entry »

Issues Facing the Women’s Movement

The following is an account of some of the issues that face Iranian women.994-women-p8
“…The world has been witness to immense technological development and progress in the 21st century. These developments have had profound effect on our way of living, working and on individuals’ social relations. The effect of these changes has been significant in communications too. In addition to new problems, today’s world has been faced with new possibilities too. In the field of communications, the reach of news has extended to the most isolated places, and this can lead to public opinion being mobilised around vital issues.
It would not be an exaggeration to say the in many arenas of life we women continue to face massive problems. This is cause for sadness and concern…”. Read the rest of this entry »

Greetings on the 8th of March

We greet all women on the occasion of 8th of March, the day of solidarity of women worldwide, as we call for building a new world, one free from war, poverty, violence, discrimination, and inequality; and struggle for peace, freedom, and social justice.demonstration
We, the women of Iran, celebrated this day 93 years ago, twelve years after Clara Zetkin the prominent fighter in the communist and working class, and women’s movement had marked it in 1910. To this day, we have celebrated the 8th of March relentlessly as we have struggled against reaction and medieval despotism, discrimination and inequality.

Through our struggle for equal rights, we forced the reactionary monarchy to acknowledge the right to education for girls and to-date we occupy 60% of places in higher education institutions. However, the reactionary regime of the Supreme Religious Leader sees us as the weaker sex, in the civil law we are seen as second class citizens and are under the yoke of men in the family who own the right to give or refuse permission for us to work or travel. Even the right of choosing our clothes has been taken from us. Every time that there has been the slightest opening in the oppressive climate in the country, we have tried to extend our wings and to inform people of our rights. Our struggle is not against men, but against misogynistic and medieval laws that Read the rest of this entry »

To the Women’s International Democratic Federation

The Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) marked its 70th anniversary in October 2015. The Democratic Organisation of Iranian Women, itself founded in 1942 sent its greetings to WIDF. The message is cited below:

To the Women’s International Democratic Federation

Esteemed members of the Executive Committee of the Federation, Read the rest of this entry »

Islamic Republic must be made to abide by UN resolutions

The UN Human Rights Council has published (24 May 2015) ‘a written statement submitted by the Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik, a non-governmental organization’, and experts of which we cite below. The statement was a response to the reelection to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women and its becoming a member in January 2016 of the Executive Board of the UN for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The organization questions the mechanisms that make possible the membership of a government that has such a poor record on human and women’s rights by its arbitrary detentions, prosecution of journalists and human rights activists and women’s rights activists.
The statement goes on: “The [Islamic Republic] has not yet ratified the CEDAW and negative propaganda by the Iranian authorities is directed against gender equality, a term not used in official Iranian documents and public statements, wording gender justice instead. Furthermore during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) all recommendations on equal rights for women or gender equality did not enjoy the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran’. Read the rest of this entry »

May Day and Iranian Women Workers

Greetings to all workers, especially women, to women heads of teacher's protesthousehold, teachers, nurses and all workers of Iran, on the occasion of May Day, International Workers’ Day, the day the workers of the world express their solidarity in their struggle against exploitation, and the ravages of capitalism and injustice. May Day is the day of commemorating the heroic struggle of the textile workers of Chicago (1886), and one which was assigned the Day of the Worker by the second congress of the Internationale in 1889. This day is a public holiday in many countries in the world, and for this reason, workers celebrate it magnificently, according to their circumstances and renew their commitment to their common struggle against inequality, exploitation, war and injustice. Read the rest of this entry »

Victims and Survivors of Barbaric Acid Attacks on Women and Girls

Women live under constant threat due to the regime’s failure to allow a civil society to emerge based on respect for human Acid attack on womenrights and freedoms of its people – women and men; and due to the regime’s use of violence against women as a method of control, as we saw in the Acid attacks against women in Isfahan in the previous months. The tragedies that unfold as a result of these barbaric acts against women and children are the direct result of the misogynist values that the Islamic Republic has promoted vehemently over its more than three decades of rule over our country. The Guardian Newspaper (in Britain) carried an article, posted on their digital site on April 26th recounting the story of one of the survivors of an Acid attack: Read the rest of this entry »