Shahrivar 28 1399 - September 18 2020
All-women band in Iran struggles to break through

The men in the audience clapped and the women ululated as the band finished singing: it would have been commonplace except the venue was in Iran and the group on stage were all women. The catchy rhythmic music they played that balmy night is known as "bandari". Its lyrics are from ancient folkloric songs, passed down the generations and familiar to many at the concert in an amphitheater in the southern port of Bandar Abbas. -AFP 9/18/20

Honour killings and violence against women in Iran during the COVID-19 pandemic

The incidence of violence against women has increased worldwide since lockdowns to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 were implemented.1 Iran already had high levels of violence against women, with a reported 8000 so-called honour killings between 2010 and 2014. -Bijan Pirnia, Fariborz Pirnia & Kambiz Pirnia, The Lancet 9/18/20

Iran To Alter Schoolbook Cover After Anger Over Girls' Removal

Iran's education ministry said Tuesday the new cover of a schoolbook which removed girls from an illustration would be modified next year, following widespread criticism on social media. After the ministry distributed textbooks for the new school year on September 5, parents saw the cover of the third-grade mathematics book had changed. Two girls had been removed, leaving only three boys under a tree made up of numbers and mathematical signs. -Amir Havasi, AFP 9/16/20

Anger In Iran After Images Of Girls Removed From Cover Of Math Textbook

There's outrage among Iranians over the removal of the images of girls from the cover of a third-grade math textbook in what critics say highlights gender discrimination and the sexist attitude of the country's officials. The Education Ministry said the original cover showing two girls and three boys playing under a tree was "overcrowded" and that those who reviewed the book from "an artistic, aesthetic, and psychological perspective" had proposed to make it "less crowded." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 9/14/20

Jacqueline Saper's "From Miniskirt to Hijab" is a story for our times

As Jacqueline Saper shopped for a gift for her husband on a sunny Tehran boulevard in 1979, she had no idea that she was about to witness history. The young Iranian wife had already lived through events that seemed to shift the earth on its axis. In her lifetime, Jacqueline had endured hardships that few can imagine, but also joys and privileges that Americans would find surprisingly familiar. -Teme Ring, Chicago Now 9/10/20

Iran is having its #MeToo moment

Across the past three weeks, dozens of Iranian women of various backgrounds have taken to social media, in their own #MeToo moment, to report their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. The police have announced they have taken action against at least one suspect. Many women hope this will be just the beginning of a broader movement against sexual violence. -Tara Sepehri Far, Al Jazeera 9/10/20

Human rights award for Iranian lawyer on hunger strike

The Iranian lawyer and women's rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is apparently in acute danger of death, has been honored with the human rights award of the German Association of Judges (DRB). Sotoudeh has been on hunger strike for three weeks.She has been imprisoned again in Tehran's Evin Prison since 2018 and was sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes in 2019; she had already served in prison from 2010 to 2013. -Der Tagesspiegel 9/4/20

U of O PhD student's smartwatch a timely innovation in COVID fight

Azadeh Dastmalchi's search for a user-friendly blood pressure test triggered a decade-long research effort that ultimately spawned a groundbreaking wearable device and led the University of Ottawa PhD candidate to launch her own company. On Wednesday, the biomedical engineering student and budding entrepreneur earned some well-deserved time in the spotlight. -David Sali, Ottawa Business Journal 9/3/20

Afghan girl who waited years for school refuses to let her enthusiasm wane

A few months ago, mornings at Vahdat Primary School when the children arrived were full of enthusiasm and energy. Bags bouncing on their backs as they ran through the gates of their primary school, a group of girls skidded to a halt in front of the main building, waiting for assembly. At the back of a line of sixth-graders stood Parisa, the oldest in her class at the age of 16 - her classmates were on average only 12 years old. -Farha Bhoyroo, UNHCR, Isfahan, Iran 9/2/20

Interview: Composer Aida Shirazi On Music, Success And Her Iranian Upbringing

For centuries, the classical music "canon" has been dominated by European male figures. Times are changing, though, and many diverse voices are finally finding a foothold in the genre - and one need look no further than Davis. Iranian musician Aida Shirazi came to the United States four years ago to pursue a Ph.D in composition at UC Davis. Lately, she's been getting a lot of national attention not just for her music, but also for her role as a co-founder of the Iranian Female Composer's Association. -CapRadio 9/1/20

Health of Iranian Activist Hunger Striker Nasrin Sotoudeh Deteriorating: PEN America

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a renowned Iranian writer, human rights lawyer, and activist, is reportedly in critical condition after being on hunger strike in Tehran's Evin prison for over two weeks. PEN America today calls for her and other political prisoners' immediate release and for an end to judicial and legal harassment of her and her family. 8/31/20

An Iranian-born progressive unseating a Trumpist veteran in Texas? It could happen.

Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who received a Purple Heart in the war in Afghanistan, is considered one of President Trump's most reliable surrogates. He's currently fighting for reelection against Sima Ladjevardian, an Iranian-born lawyer turned political activist who was a key adviser to Beto O'Rourke in his surprisingly close race against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). - Jason Rezaian, Washington Post 8/27/20

Gelareh Zadeh becomes first female chair of neurosurgery at University of Toronto

Gelareh Zadeh speaks about the first time she observed a brain operation the same way one might describe discovering a precious jewel. As a medical student in the early 1990s, she recalls being mesmerized by a skillful neurosurgeon delicately working on the unruly snarl of blood vessels of an arteriovenous malformation. "It was so tantalizing," she says, explaining how the experience put her on the path to choosing it as her specialty. "Technically, it's really a beautiful field." -Wency Leung, Globe and Mail 8/26/20

Iran's #MeToo Moment: Women's Tweets Highlight Alleged Sexual Abuse, Rape By Prominent Figures

For 14 years, former Iranian journalist Sara Omatali kept quiet about the time she says a prominent painter sexually assaulted her. Last week, the U.S.-based educator broke her silence on Twitter, detailing the alleged abuse that took place in the summer of 2006. Omatali is one of many Iranian women who have in recent days taken to social media to tell their stories of sexual harassment and rape, breaking years of silence about an issue that remains taboo and is often swept under the rug in Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 8/26/20

Reyhaneh Mobini breaks Iran's long jump record after 45 years

Reyhaneh Mobini set a new record in the Iran's running long jump in Tehran Grand Prix on Monday. Mobini leapt 6.17 meters and bettered the record by three centimeters, set by Touran Shadpour in 1974 Asian Games. 8/25/20

The Iranian immigrant who conquered online video tech

Shahrzad Rafati was only 13 when she decided she would one day build a global business. She also knew that she wouldn't be able to achieve her dream if she stayed in her native Iran. So at the age of 17 her drive and confidence managed to persuade her parents to let her move by herself to Vancouver to go to university. Today the 40-year-old continues to run BBTV, a company that helps firms around the world secure advertising revenues from videos on YouTube, Facebook and other websites and apps. -Andreane Williams, BBC 8/24/20

Ava review - smart teenage thriller amps up the micro-tyrannies

This debut feature by the Iranian-Canadian director Sadaf Foroughi takes what might otherwise be a banal family-drama trope - moody teenage girl with warring parents starts acting out - and turns it into something resembling a political thriller. In present-day Iran, and many other strict societies, a teenage girl who presumes to challenge her parents and teachers is made to feel like a dissident in a police state, forever nursing secrets, forever being questioned and harassed by the authorities... -Guardian 8/19/20

Challenges and opportunities confronting female-headed households in Iran: a qualitative study

Female-headed households are one of the most vulnerable groups of society that confront many problems and challenges. Therefore, the present study aimed to explore the challenges and opportunities confronting female-headed households in Iran. -Javad Yoosefi Lebni, et al, BMC Women's Health 8/18/20

Imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer begins hunger strike

A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has begun a hunger strike seeking better prison conditions and the release of political prisoners amid the pandemic, her husband said Thursday. Reza Khandan told The Associated Press his wife Nasrin Sotoudeh began the strike Tuesday and he feared it would exacerbate her chronic gastrointestinal and foot problems. -AP 8/13/20

Iranian Actress Mahchehreh Khalili dies at 44

Actress Mahchehreh Khalili, who is most famous for her roles in the series and movies such as "The Rise of Mokhtar" and "Mask" died from cancer on Friday, August 7. Khalili was born in Tehran in 1977 and had a degree in architecture from Oxford University. She had completed courses at Method Acting college, a school in London that provides acting classes and lessons. 8/11/20

Iran-born actor Sahel Rosa on the hardship and help she had growing up in Japan: interview

There are many examples of children of foreign nationalities falling by the wayside in Japan, after arriving unable to speak the language and then struggling to fit in at school or in society. But Sahel Rosa, 34, came to Japan from the chaotic aftermath of the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, and went on to become an actor and TV personality. -Mainichi Japan 8/11/20

Iranian-American painter Behnaz Sohrabian showing her work this month at Edmond Fine Arts Institute

Behnaz Sohrabian's goal is to communicate with people through her paintings. "I think I want to say something through these compositions, through these lines and visual elements. Even when I choose the title, I try to choose a good title that is a match or suitable for the painting, for the composition, for the concept," she said in a spring interview. -Oklahoman 8/6/20

Prosecutor Denies Ban On Women's Cycling In Iranian City

The prosecutor in the northeastern Iranian province of Khorasan Razavi has denied that women in the provincial capital, Mashhad, have been banned from cycling. Prosecutor Mohammad Hossein Doroody was quoted on August 5 by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying that the judiciary had not issued any ban in this regard. -RFE/RL 8/6/20

'Sunless Shadows' Review: A Harsh Look at Iranian Women in Prison

Mehrdad Oskouei's documentary brings empathy to a tough subject: women and girls convicted of murdering male family members. -Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, New York Times 8/5/20

First Person: Turning 'apathetic people into climate activists'; a young person's view

An 18-year-old environmental campaigner from the United States has told UN News how she wants to "turn apathetic people into climate activists". Sophia Kianni, whose family originally comes from Iran, is one of seven young people from across the world who have been selected to participate in the UN Secretary-General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. The group which was launched at the end of the July aims to engage young people in "an open and transparent dialogue" about climate issues. -UN News 8/4/20

Iran women's podcast gives voice to victims of abuse

Maryam's voice trembles as she tells what happened when her husband attacked her in public. "People's reaction was like it was normal to see a man beating his wife. There's no law, there are no safe houses, and even the police can't do much. Some families also act like they're so modern and they say, 'Oh it's a private matter'." Her story is a rarely heard one in her home country of Iran, but since the creation of a new podcast, many more women like her are coming forward to share unflinching accounts of their experience of domestic violence. -BBC 8/4/20

Iranian and Turkish women join black-and-white Instagram challenge

Iranian Instagram feeds have been overrun with black-and-white photos of women joining an international online campaign against gender-based violence, using the hashtags #WomenSupportWomen and #ChallengeAccepted. The campaign follows an outcry against a number of high-profile "honor killings" in Iran over the last two months. -ABC News 7/31/20

Iran's Judiciary Has Blocked Prominent Jailed Lawyer's Bank Account, Husband Says

Iran's judiciary has blocked the bank account of prominent imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in a move aimed at adding pressure on her and her family. Sotoudeh, the co-winner of the European Parliament's 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, was sentenced last year to 38 years in prison over her defense of political prisoners 7/29/20

Sadaf Khadem: 'The problem is boxing, not the hijab - in Iran they say men only'

The 25-year-old is forging a growing reputation in France and dreams of Olympic gold but laments her exile from Iran, where the idea of a woman boxing is frowned upon. Sadaf Khadem came from the mountains and underground gyms of Tehran to Royan, a seaside town in south-west France, so that she could have the freedom to fight. She came alone. In the salty air of Royan, she respectfully replaced the hijab with a blue headguard and gumshield. Khadem had already pulled on a vest and shorts and boxing boots. -Donald McRae, Guardian 7/22/20

Yara Shahidi Has Been Preparing For This Moment Since Birth

"A lot of the work that I'm hoping to do is about pointing people toward the organizers and the people on the front lines of this (Black Lives Matter) movement." -Kaitlyn Greenidge, Elle 7/16/20

50 Inspiring Iranian Women, a book beautifully illustrated by Roshi Rouzbehani

Within just 12 hours of launching her Kickstarter campaign to bring her book to life celebrating 50 remarkable Iranian women, London-based illustrator Roshi Rouzbehani more than reached her target. The illustrated biography pays tribute to Iranian women who have played significant roles in art, science, sport, education and philanthropy. -Katy Cowan, Creative Boom 7/15/20

Documentary "Lift-up" to chronicle life story of Iran's history-making woman weightlifter

Iranian filmmaker Reza Surani is making the documentary "Lift-up" about the life story of Pupak Basami, who is the first woman from post-revolution Iran to compete in an international weightlifting tournament. Basami wrote her name into the history books as the first Iranian woman who participated in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in April 2019. 7/14/20

Stuckeman School graduate student awarded Scientific Merit Award

Nastaran Tebyanian, a Penn State Stuckeman School doctoral candidate in architecture with a focus on landscape architecture, recently won a Scientific Merit Award from the Journal of Digital Architecture for her article titled "Application of Machine Learning for Urban Landscape Design: A Primer for Landscape Architects." -Pennsylvania State University 7/14/20

Iranian Woman Turns Farmland into Doll Exhibition

An Iranian woman has turned her farmland into an exhibition of dolls she makes for fun at the sixth decade of her life. Khadijeh Abbasi, who lives alone in a village in Ardakan in Iran's central Yazd province, has been making creative dolls, a work that is astonishing and unbelievable. -IFP 7/10/20

An Iranian gamer's battle against sanctions and sexism

27-year-old "Mia" says her all-time favorite game is 'The Last of Us.' She likes to cosplay as "Ellie," the young protagonist of the video game, and even knows how to play the game's theme music on the guitar. A video of Mia playing the song has generated more than fifty thousand views on YouTube. -Sheida Hooshmandi, Atlantic Council 7/8/20

'Break this taboo': Religious singer Koveitipour's duet with young girl shocks Iran

A well-known religious singer has caused controversy in Iran by releasing a recording of a duet with a 13-year-old girl, which has gone viral on social media. The song, which was first released by Gholam Koveitipour during the Iran-Iraq war, was reprised by Koveitipour and a girl, known as Parichehr, recording their lines separately. -Rohollah Faghihi, Middle East Eye 7/6/20

Being brown in America: Stories of exile, identity and belonging

Written over a period of more than 10 years, Porochista Khakpour's collection of essays, Brown Album, is a reckoning with what it means to be an Iranian in America today. An acclaimed novelist, Porochista Khakpour launched onto the literary scene with her novels Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) and The Last Illusion (2014). -Iman Sultan, Middle East Eye 7/2/20

The art of discomfort: Sogand Tabatabaei doesn't push the anxiety under the carpet

Sogand Tabatabaei, a young artist and a Master of Fine Arts student at the University of Nevada, Reno, has been living all by herself during the entire lockdown, away from her husband and parents, who are in Iran. During this period, she has created art that reflects some of the anxieties and uncertainties she has been feeling. 7/2/20

Iran upholds five-year jail sentence for French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah

Adelkhah's sentence, passed in May over "security charges including conspiring against national security", was upheld by the appeals court and "she is going to serve five years" including time served since her arrest, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told a televised news conference. -France24 7/1/20

How outrage over killing of Iranian girl is helping women's rights

Just as a brutal killing in America is helping to change thought about racism, so has one in Iran, challenging traditions that have long devalued the lives and rights of women and children. -Scott Peterson, CSM 6/25/20

Parliament alone cannot stop honor killings in Iran

While legislation aimed at combatting honor killings in Iran is certainly needed, the country must also address broader issues involving policy failings and social norms. -Leila Alikarami, Al Monitor 6/23/20

The Iranian Women's Movement: A Conversation with Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani

Webinar on June 23, 2020: Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, a member of a family long considered a pillar of the Islamic Republic of Iran, became a prisoner of conscience in that regime and is now a defender of equal rights for women-one of the many fascinating transformations in Iran in recent years. She discusses the evolution and future of the women's rights movement in Iran. The conversation will be live-translated from Persian/Farsi to English. 6/22/20

Iran's 'Ancient Sport' Not A Man's World Anymore

Iran's "ancient sport" -- or "varzesh bastani" -- a traditional form of athletics that combines elements of Islam and ancient Persian beliefs, has long been a male-only domain. But not so much anymore. In recent years, an increasing number of women have taken on the discipline. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/22/20

Former Lawmaker In Iran, Parvaneh Salahshouri, Being Tried For Voicing Criticism

A preliminary court in Iran has found former outspoken female member of parliament guilty, and soon she will be put on trial. The case against Ms. Parvaneh Salahshouri, with numerous plaintiffs, and after preliminary investigations, has been referred to the court, Fars news agency reported June 14. Salahshouri is a sociologist and reformist politician who was a lawmaker representing Tehran. 6/15/20

Golriz Ghahraman: 'I feel such sorrow when I imagine my parents' fate'

The Iranian-born New Zealand MP describes a 'central heartbreak' of being a migrant child in this exclusive extract from her book Know Your Place -Guardian 6/15/20

New charge brought against imprisoned journalist Narges Mohammadi

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the latest absurd charge to be brought against Narges Mohammadi in the Iranian judicial system's continuing persecution of this journalist and human rights defender, who has been imprisoned since 2015 and has been in Zanjan prison, 300 km northwest of Tehran, since last December. 6/15/20

Webinar: Iranian-American Women Building Political Power

Join our virtual conversation with leading Iranian-American women building political power on Thursday, June 11 at 5-6pm PST. We will be featuring Yassamin Ansari, candidate for Phoenix City Council, Shireen Ghorbani, Salt Lake County Council Member, and Nilofar Ganjaie, moderator and NIAC Action Board Member. -NIAC Action 6/8/20

Gruesome Death Of Iranian Teenager Shows Shame Of 'Honor' Killings

Romina was only 14-years-old when she was reportedly beheaded by her father in a horrific case of a so-called "honor" killing that has shocked Iran. Reza Ashrafi, her dad, reportedly failed to convince Romina's mother to force their daughter to commit suicide, so he decapitated her with a sickle as she slept at the family home. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/5/20

Women's Boxing Banned In Iran's Khuzestan Province

Khuzestan has become Iran's first province to officially ban women's boxing. "Any activity in women's boxing is prohibited in the province," the head of Khuzestan's boxing board, Hamid Zanganehmanesh, said on May 31, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency. Referring to a recent letter from the president of the Iranian boxing federation, Zanganehmanesh said all women's boxing activities were prohibited in Khuzestan, including coaching, training, and theory classes. 6/2/20

Iran's Rohani Calls For Stricter Laws On 'Honor Killings' After Beheading Of 13-Year-Old Girl

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called for harsher laws to tackle so-called "honor killings" after the particularly shocking slaying of a teenage girl, allegedly by her father, prompted a nationwide outcry. Rohani on May 27 pushed for the speedy adoption of relevant bills, some which have apparently circulated for years among various Iranian decision-making bodies without any tangible results. The call comes after 13-year-old Romina Ashrafi was killed last week in Hovigh, some 320 kilometers northwest of Tehran. 5/28/20

Iran's president pushes for harsher laws on honor killings

Iran's president urged his Cabinet on Wednesday to speed up harsher laws in so-called honor killings, after a particularly disturbing slaying of a 14-year-old girl by her father shocked the nation. President Hassan Rouhani pushed for speedy adoption of relevant bills, some which have apparently shuttled for years among various decision-making bodies in Iran. 5/27/20

Brown Album by Porochista Khakpour review: a question of self-discovery

New York-based Khakpour is the author of two novels, Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) and The Last Illusion (2014), and a memoir about illness, Sick (2014). Brown Album brings together a number of her autobiographical essays about being an Iranian American in the 21st century, which first appeared in publications such as the New York Times and Salon. They tell a fairly typical first-generation immigrant story of identity confusion and gradual self-discovery. -Houman Barekat, Guardian 5/22/20

Detained Iranian Lawyer's Husband Criticizes Iran's Refusal to Furlough Her

The husband of one of Iran's most prominent jailed dissidents has strongly criticized authorities for not furloughing her from a coronavirus-plagued prison where he says her health is in danger. In a Thursday phone interview with VOA Persian from Tehran, Reza Khandan faulted the Iranian government for temporarily freeing thousands of common criminals from jails since late February in part to protect them from the virus, while refusing to do the same for dissidents such as his wife, Nasrin Sotoudeh. -VOA 5/22/20

Where the Small Things Are: Thoughts on Writing Revolutions and their Histories

Somewhere on the border between Oman and Yemen lies the body of Rafat Afraz. Rafat had been a school administrator at the Refah school for girls in Tehran, a site of Islamic revolutionary activism in the early 70s and the temporary headquarters of the Khomeini-led revolutionary forces in 1979. Rafat and her younger sister Mahbubeh[1] joined the Sazman-i Mujahedin-i Khalq (the People's Mujahedin Organization or Mujahedin) in 1970, a guerilla organization that at its moment of founding was, simply put, a "combination of Islam and Marxism." -Naghmeh Sohrabi, Jadaliyya 5/22/20

Athletics star takes to rooftop to train in virus-hit Iran

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the world's athletes to keep fit in confinement, and for top Iranian athlete Maryam Toosi, that has meant training on the rooftop of her apartment. Toosi's exploits as a sprinter have made her a household name in the Islamic republic. -AFP 5/20/20

Finally, a Stage for Female Composers From Iran

Growing up in Iran, the composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh was surrounded by the sounds of traditional Persian instruments like the santour and tar. She found herself, however, drawn to the piano. But one element remained consistent across traditions: Virtually all the music was composed by men... Together with her fellow Iranian composers Anahita Abbasi, 35, and Aida Shirazi, 33, Ms. Nourbakhsh set out to change that. In 2017, they founded the Iranian Female Composers Association, known as I.F.C.A., which is dedicated to supporting female composers from Iran through programming, commissioning and mentorship. -Ryan Ebright, New York Times 5/19/20

Surf sensitively: the modest wetsuit inspired by Iran's women surfers

The wetsuit is the result of a six-year design project between Finisterre and product designers at Falmouth and Plymouth Universities, to create something that was functional and safe to surf in, as well as culturally sensitive. It began after Britton's trips to Iran, first in 2010 and then again in 2013, to film a documentary about surfing in the country. "That was my first dabble into how to put together hijab-appropriate surfwear," she said. -Lucy Douglas, Positive.News 5/18/20

Let's share our love of Iran: Painter Iran Darrudi

Iranian surrealist painter Iran Darrudi has asked her countrymen to share their love of their homeland. Speaking to the Iran-France Friendship Association in an online interview on last Wednesday, the 83-year-old Darrudi said, "Unfortunately, Iran and its history has been consigned to oblivion. However, we cannot deny our identity; we are Iranian and the history shows that this land has been the founder of the world's culture." 5/11/20

Sara Khadem returns to Iran national chess team

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, also known as Sara Khadem, who had announced her retirement from Iran national chess team, has returned to the national team. On January 12, Khadem had published a photo on her Instagram account and said she has retired from national team. 5/8/20

Coronavirus: Iran's female singers familiar with restrictive measures

The current quarantine is nothing new for Iranian women musicians - they've been restricted from performing in public since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Singer Massy Ahadi explains how they come to terms with it. -Deutsche Welle 4/29/20

Golshifteh Farahani: Who Is This Iranian Born Extraction Actor?

Did you happen to binge on Chris Hemsworth-starrer Extraction this weekend? The action-thriller has been garnering love in India not just for the Indian cast and kinetic cinematography, but for Iranian-born actress Golshifteh Farahani. Extraction delivers exactly what it promised it would - dramatic dialogues and mayhem. In between all the stunts and violence, Hemsworth's (who plays Tyler Rake in the film) handler and primary contact Nik (aka Golshifteh Farahani) makes an appearance. -She The People 4/29/20

Women in virus-hit Iran tech sector fight to keep hard-won jobs

From the hustle and bustle of a startup, Fereshteh Kasrai now works from home, like many Iranian women fighting to keep hard-won tech jobs as the coronavirus outbreak stirs uncertainty. Iran says the COVID-19 disease has claimed more than 5,200 lives and infected close to 83,000 over the past two months, in the Middle East's deadliest outbreak. -AFP 4/21/20

Iran to form women's para powerlifting team

Iran will form the women's para powerlifting team for the first time. Iran Sports Federation for the Disabled Vice President Mojgan Nasiri has said that the female para powerlifters will par take at the international events after the Ministry of Sports and Youth confirms their dress code. 4/21/20

Bedridden Iranian Teacher Hailed for Teaching Students Online

Iran's education minister has expressed his gratitude to an instructor for teaching pupils online while sick in bed in hospital. In a phone conversation, Mohsen Hajimirzaee appreciated efforts by Ms. Jafari, and English Language teacher, for continuing to educate her students while being ill. -IFP 4/21/20

Afghan Doctor Fights On The Front Line Of Iran's Coronavirus Battle

Najibeh Gholami was already doing a medical internship at Mashhad's Imam Reza Hospital in February when the coronavirus pandemic reached that home of one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines. An Afghan physician-in-training in her mid-20s, she quickly volunteered to help tend to COVID-19 patients in that northeastern Iranian city. 4/20/20

Iran's Nurses Are Martyrs to Trump's Maximum Pressure

Now, Iran's nurses-the majority of whom are women-are among those bearing the worst of the brunt of U.S. sanctions. Official death counts from the Iranian government aren't broken out by profession and are widely believed to understate coronavirus fatalities. A group of doctors in Iran that has been tracking the deaths of health care workers puts the number of nurses who have died at at least 15 between late February and mid April, but even that almost certainly underestimates the toll as health workers have reportedly been instructed by government officials not to reveal information about shortages, infections, or deaths. -Negar Mortazavi, FP 4/17/20

Rethreading & Retracing: Textiles and Techniques by Bita Ghezelayagh

'Rethreading & Retracing: Textiles and Techniques by Bita Ghezelayagh' at the Aga Khan Centre Gallery in London explores the artist's long-standing interest in working with found materials such as antique carpet fragments. Bita Ghezelayagh is a London-based textile artist of Iranian heritage. She is perhaps best known for her embellished felt tunics that were short-listed for the Jameel Prize at the V&A in 2011. -Deborah Freeman Fahid, Hali 4/15/20

U.S. "maximum pressure" on Iran hurts the women it claims to help

On 21 May 2018, less than two weeks after the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched Washington's "New Iran Strategy" before an audience at the Heritage Foundation. In his remarks, he insisted that Iranian women's long struggle for inclusion and equality matters dearly to Washington. As if to prove the point, the U.S. State Department's social media feeds since that day have interspersed announcements of new choking sanctions with twinkling reminders of Iranian women's potential -Azadeh Moaveni & Ali Vaez, Responsible Statecraft 3/9/20

'Radioactive' director Marjane Satrapi reveals why she chooses not to work with US producers

Iranian-French filmmaker Marjane Satrapi, the first woman to be nominated for an animation Oscar with her film Persepolis, has called for more female role models on screen. "Women are half the population of the world so half the stories should be about us, but that's not the case," she said to an audience of rising writers and directors at the Glasgow Film Festival on Friday. "And the stories that are made about women have us as the cheated-on girlfriend or old and looking for love." -Screen Daily 3/9/20

Jailed Iranian Activist Nasrin Sotoudeh Writes a Plea for Peace on International Women's Day

On this International Women's Day, as a deadly virus sickens my country, I throw my hands down and as a citizen, in a gentle voice, I ask the government to end their animosity with the world, to look at the world through the eyes of peace and to trust life and human beings. I ask human right activists to help us in our peaceful endeavor. I specifically extend my hand to American citizens. Our governments have been rivals for years, with little regards for us... -TIME 3/7/20

Is It Safe to Travel to Iran as a Solo Female Traveler?

Before I started reading more into Iran, all I heard about this country were stories about its politics. In the media, Iran seemed like a place where no one would ever want to visit. Can you imagine solo female travel in Iran? After my trip to Iran, I can tell you now that Iran has the most hospitable people and great architecture. Traveling to Iran as a solo female traveler has been safe, rewarding and fun. -Anna Karsten 3/3/20

Iranian refugee Shokoofeh Azar longlisted for Booker International

When Shokoofeh Azar was a teenager in Tehran she often dreamed about winning the Booker Prize. When the winning books were translated into Farsi, she would devour them. "I followed all of the Booker Prize winners," she says, "and always wanted to win the Booker one day." -Jason Steger, SMH 2/28/20

Devoted to discovery: seven women scientists who have shaped our world

In 1994, Mirzakhani became the first female Iranian student to win the gold medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad, scoring 41 out of 42 points, and in 2015 she returned to win with a perfect score. She earned her PhD from Harvard University and was a leading scholar on the dynamics and geometry of complex surfaces. In 2014, she became the first female winner of the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. -UN Women 2/16/20

Iran crowned CAFA U19 Girl's Futsal champions

Iran claimed the title of the CAFA U19 Girl's Futsal Championship 2020 on Wednesday. The Iranian team defeated Kyrgyz Republic 2-0 in their last match. The Persian maintained their 100 percent record in the five matches. 1/30/20

Iranian Female Sprinter Farzaneh Fasihi Dreams Of Reaching Olympics

Female sprinter Farzaneh Fasihi, dubbed the Wind Girl, comes close to fulfilling her dream of reaching the Olympic Games. Fasihi has recently secured her place at the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships, running 7.29 second time in the 60 meters event. She has become the first Iranian woman to participate at the World Athletics Indoor Championships. 1/21/20

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