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Creative art project celebrated women's rights activism in Iran

Southern California activists celebrate the anniversary of the One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality California members of the One Million Signatures Campaign -an Iranian grassroots campaign for gender equality- are celebrating the second anniversary of this movement with a creative art project.

"We are hoping to show our solidarity with the activists in Iran by celebrating this day along with them," say California campaign members. Their goal is to make the Iranian immigrant population in Southern California aware of gender issues both in Iran and in the Iranian- American community and to inform them about the grassroots activism which has been initiated in Iran. The group is setting up a large canvas at the entrance of Wholesome Choice -a market in Irvine, California popular with Iranians and is inviting people to participate in a group art project that celebrates gender equality. The event is scheduled for Saturday August 23.

"By inviting people to participate in this art project we want them to understand that they are not passive bystanders in this struggle. We hope that through this participation, people feel that they are each agents of change in the struggle for gender equality. We will not be able to change the status quo unless we all participate," say the southern California activists. After the completion of this art project, the canvas is going to be displayed in an exhibition and eventually sent as a gift of solidarity to the activists in Iran.

The One Million Signatures Campaign is an independent grassroots movement which was initiated by a large group of women's rights activist in Iran on August 27, 2006 and has ever since captured the hearts of of Iranians both young and old. With its clear message and peaceful approach, the campaign has organically spread to over 20 cities and towns in Iran and has also been welcomed by several immigrant Iranian populations around the world such as those in the US, Germany, Kuwait, Cyprus, Italy, Austria, the UK and Sweden. The One Million Signatures Campaign raises awareness through public dissemination of information about discriminatory laws, and seeks to promote social justice through a petition that calls for legal reform. Based entirely on volunteer labor, the movement has refrained from adopting a political agenda and instead presents information about the Iranian legal system in a non-ideological manner. The campaign has received the support of prominent international advocates for peace and justice, including Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, and Dr. Mairead Corrigan. People around the world can join in peaceful protest against discrimination by signing the Campaign's petition in support of Iranians' demand for legal gender equality.

The Campaign has been well represented in areas with large Iranian immigrant populations, including Southern California, which is home to the largest number of Iranians outside Iran. This local chapter of the Campaign comprises Iranian-American students and professionals, who not only promote awareness of the campaign's efforts but also aim to protect activists within Iran by calling attention to their political persecution.


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