Trashing Women’s Rights in Tehran

As President Bush And President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enjoy a diplomtic kiss and cuddle in the ongoing dispute over Iran's nuclear weapons program, women's rights activists in Iran plan to take to the streets demanding an end to legal discrimination against Iranian women. (Of course the ever-diplomatic Ahmadinejad has also been taunting the United States while Iran's nuclear engineers step up enrichment. And would you trust a fundamentalist demagogue who dresses and shaves like a shabby used-uranium salesman? But I digress.). According to the Women's Learning Partnership the Iranian activists will demonstrate on June 12, seeking the following changes to civil and penal law:

* Banning polygamy;
* Reversal of men's uncontested right to divorce;
* Equal child custody rights for mothers and fathers;
* Equal rights in marriage (such as a woman's right to choose where she works, to travel freely, etc.);
* Increase in the legal age of children to 18 years of age (currently girls are viewed as adults at 9 years of age and boys at 15 years of age, making them eligible to be tried as adults);
* Equal value placed on women's testimony in court; and
* Elimination of temporary work contracts which disproportionately and negatively impact women.

Sign this petition to express solidarity with these brave activists. (Those whose Farsi might be a bit rusty can scroll down for English text.)

Since the election of the last parliament in Iran in 2004, in which the ruling Council of Guardians (scary Plato's Republic overtones anyone?) barred reformers from running, hardliners have been busy reversing gains for women's rights won under the previous more moderate presidency of Mohammad Khatami. An earlier women's rights demonstration on March 8th to commemorate International Women's Day was brutally dispersed by Iranian security forces, who dumped cans of garbage on the heads of the assembled women before charging them and beating them savagely with batons, even kicking and bludgeoning septuagenarian poet Simin Behbahani for good measure.

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2 Comments on “Trashing Women’s Rights in Tehran”


  1. Yes, did you see this article on Muslim women’s opinion: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/08/world/middleeast/08women.html

  2. Opinionated Wench Says:

    That was freaky, I just tried to sign that petition, and at the part where you type your name in it types in Farsi. I have no idea what I just said my name was.


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