Tag Archive | "iran"

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Fighting for Women’s Rights: An Interview with Mahnaz Afkhami

Posted on 09 November 2012 by

Arseh Sevom/By Hooman Askary
November 16, 2011

Hooman Askary of Arseh Sevom Civil Society Magazine reports on his discussion with the former minister of women’s affairs in pre-revolution Iran, Mahnaz Afkhami. She links the century long struggle of Iranian women for equal protection under the law to the demonstrations that emerged in 2009 after the flawed presidential elections in Iran. Afkhami states, “The green movement in Iran is the continuation of what had been started nearly a century before and gone through ups and downs, changes and evolutionary and revolutionary transformations.”

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Despite Setbacks, Women Will Make a Difference

Posted on 25 November 2011 by

Nikita Shahbazi of Shahrzad News conducted the following interview with WLP President Mahnaz Afkhami at the WIDE conference in Brussels

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Separate, But Not Equal: Sex-Segregating University Classes Would Fare Poorly for Iranian Women

Posted on 02 September 2011 by

Since the 1979 revolution, Iranian religious conservatives have pushed to segregate college classes by sex, rejecting co-ed classes as un-Islamic and Western. The proposal came under serious consideration only after the post-2009 election protests, when it was seen as an attempt by the conservative elite to quell opposition by cracking down on the campuses they viewed as a hotbed of political dissent. Iranian women’s rights activist Fatameh Goverayi says that the segregation effort is aimed at controlling the women’s movement, which is closely linked to the student movement. Segregation is slated for implementation when classes start this September and could harm the quality of education for female students and have adverse implications for future college applicants.

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An Activist Visits

Posted on 10 March 2011 by

A middle aged woman comes into the office, smiling. She is wearing an unassuming outfit, in beige and white. She introduces herself, I take her coat, and offer her some tea. On the surface, this is perfectly normal.

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Hope for a Revolution with a New Ending: Democracy & Women’s Rights in Egypt

Posted on 02 March 2011 by

A new day has dawned in Egypt. The dictator has been brought down. Euphoria is in the air. How will women fare as euphoria yields to reality?

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Shiva and the Women’s Rights Movement on Trial in Iran

Posted on 03 September 2010 by

Tomorrow, September 4, women’s rights activist and One Million Signatures campaign member Shiva Nazar Ahari is scheduled to stand trial for charges including “assembly and collusion to commit a crime,” “propaganda against the regime,” and moharebeh, or “enmity against God,” the last of which can carry a penalty of death.

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Ignore the Skeptics: Today’s Technology Is Key to Political Mobilization

Posted on 28 July 2010 by

In a recent New York Times op-ed “When Arabs Tweet” (July 22), Rami Khouri, editor-at-large of Lebanon’s The Daily Star, discussed the upsurge in the use of digital technologies and social networking for political ends by young Arabs and the support for this trend by the U.S. government. In the piece, Mr. Khouri rightly noted that the U.S. would be wise to align its approach to anti-democratic regimes in the Middle East with its support for democracy promotion at the grassroots level. However, his argument that digital technologies and social networking give only the illusion of activism ignores both their recent track record and their future potential. Now, this is not to be naïve. Sending text messages and posting videos to Youtube will not bring down authoritarian regimes. But, these technologies are key tools of modern mobilization.

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Violence and Trauma: A Forgotten Risk

Posted on 01 July 2010 by

My colleague Usha posted a few weeks ago about the role of radio in violence and reconciliation in Rwanda. Something jarred me. Something that tends to be buried most of the time nowadays beneath an arguably geeky enthusiasm for UN Security Council resolution 1325 and its progeny and potential for implementation. Somehow, in two years of working together I hadn’t shared with Usha that, for a brief period in 2003-2004, as a law student I worked on efforts to prosecute the widespread sexual violence that took place during the genocide that ravaged Rwanda ten years earlier. Talking about that tends to create for me a very visceral reminder of why I do this work, why I feel so strongly about supporting women survivors of violence in times of conflict, and doing everything we can to raise accountability and prevent of these acts, whether opportunistic or systematic.

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Badges, Blue Helmets, and “Women’s Work”

Posted on 22 June 2010 by

The UN recently reaffirmed its commitment to increasing women’s participation in peacebuilding and conflict-resolution with specific targets set for the organization’s police force: By 2014 the UN hopes to double the number of women serving globally as UN police officers (UNPOL). In response to the UN’s call, Bangladesh plans to send an additional 10,000 female officers.

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Opportunity to Learn and Teach from Fear and Rage in Iran

Posted on 11 December 2009 by

As we monitor the activities of the One Million Signature campaign on a daily basis, and circulate the overwhelming number of accounts of arrests and harassment of these brave women (and men!), it is easy to lose track of the small successes and uniquely human encounters that the campaign has brought about.

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Iran: Mass Summons of Campaign Activists to Security Branch of the Revolutionary Courts

Posted on 01 November 2009 by

Change for Equality: In a sweeping move, court officials have summoned a number of One Million Signature Campaign activists to the Revolutionary Courts.

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Obama, Ahmadinejad, and the Women of Iran

Posted on 29 October 2009 by

This month, for the first time in 30 years, formal negotiations between the United States and Iran took place in a relatively positive atmosphere. As President Obama had promised during his campaign, dialogue took the place of diatribe. This is an important development.

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