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October 09 2015
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Trendy Tehran: Meet the female entrepreneurs breaking boundaries in Iran

- Mahsa Rezazadeh started her cafe in Tehran seven years ago and now brings in a better wage than her husband, a lawyer. She attributes her success amid a sanctions-shattered Iranian economy to hard work and the fact that however bad things get in Iran, Iranians cannot resist the smell of a home-cooked meal and freshly brewed coffee. -Maryam Babak, International Business Times - 10/5/15

Why are Iranian husbands standing up for their wives?

- Husbands in Iran are taking pictures of themselves declaring their commitment to female equality - and thousands are sharing their messages on Facebook. -BBC - 10/2/15

Iranian government reacts to restrictions on women travelling abroad

- After the National Women's Futsal team captain, Nilufar Ardalan, was denied leaving the country to participate in the Asian Championships 2015 because her husband refused to give her permission to leave the country, negative reactions to the legal requirement of a husband's permission for Iranian women seeking to travel abroad continues to make headlines. - 10/1/15

Women in Iran Are Ready to Show They Mean Business

- Women in Iran are ready to make career gains in a way few of their peers can in the Gulf Arab world. -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg - 10/1/15

Eight of Iran's women's football team 'are men', league official claims

- Eight of Iran's women's football team 'are men', it has been claimed. The Iranian FA has been branded 'unethical', after it was alleged the players were actually men awaiting sex change operations. -Mirror, UK - 10/1/15

Iran: No government fanfare for victorious women's futsal team

- The Iranian Women's National Futsal team, which won the Asian Championship Cup last week, arrived in Tehran on Sunday September 27 without any reception from the country's Ministry of Sport. - 9/30/15

Iranian women win their first futsal championship

- Iran's women's national futsal team has lifted the trophy at the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia following a victory over the Japanese side. - 9/27/15

Donya Nasser becomes the First Iranian American U.S. Youth Observer to UN

- In July, 2015, Donya Nasser became the first Iranian American to be appointed as the U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations. An incredibly inspiring young professional, she seeks to galvanize and empower youth to strive to secure equality and justice, and to protect the marginalized. - 9/25/15

Iranian female futsallers thrash Uzbekistan in AFC championship

- Iran women's national futsal team has romped to another emphatic win at the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia, overwhelming Uzbekistan. - 9/23/15

Imprisoned Iranian Artist Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest Prison Staff Verbal Abuse

- Atena Farghadani, the recipient of the 2015 Courage in Cartooning Award by the Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), was sentenced on June 1, 2015, to 12 years and nine months in prison after drawing a cartoon that showed members of the Iranian Parliament as animals and posting it on her Facebook page. - 9/21/15

Iranian Who Barred Soccer-Star Wife From Travel Says It's Private

- An Iranian man who barred his soccer-star spouse from playing in a tournament abroad has defended his actions and criticized foreign media for covering the case. Mehdi Toutounchi, a prominent sports journalist and television presenter, said he had to "take control" of the situation. - 9/19/15

Jailed Iranian activist writes to judicial chief about plight as a mother

- Jailed human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi has written to the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, to protest that she can't speak to her children on the telephone. Nargess Mohammadi reports that she also has been completely forbidden from talking to her husband, whom prison authorities have referred to only in insulting terms. - 9/19/15

Iranian Female Soccer Star Faces Husband-Imposed Travel Ban

- It's a man's world for Niloufar Ardalan, one of Iran's best female soccer players and known as Lady Goal for her on-field exploits in international women's Islamic tournaments. Ardalan says she will not be able to compete in an upcoming tournament in Malaysia because her husband has refused to grant her permission to travel abroad as required by Islamic laws enforced in Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/15/15

Workforce participation much lower for Iranian women

- The most recent statistics reveal that the Iranian labour market is predominantly occupied by men, and for every 5.31 men who have jobs, only one woman is employed. IRNA reports that based on Spring 2015 statistics in the agriculture sector, the ratio of men to women is 7.1 to 1, in the industry sector it's 6.7 to 1, and in the service sector it is 5.03 to 1. - 9/10/15

Iran's highly educated women face tougher job market

- President Rohani's adviser for women and family affairs says more than 40 percent of women with higher education are unemployed. The deputy minister of labour has said the unemployment rate among people with higher education surpasses the country's overall unemployment average, and the rate among educated women is two and a half times higher than among men. - 9/8/15

Over 40,000 Girls under Age Married Each Year in Iran

- Official Iranian government statistics show that tens of thousands of girls under the age of 15 are married off by their families each year in Iran. The numbers may actually even be quite higher. Many families in Iran do not register underage marriages, or do so illegally, according to attorney Shima Ghoosheh, who spoke to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 9/6/15

Jewels of Allah: The Untold Stories of Women In Iran

- I grew up in Iran with two very different grandmothers. As a young girl, I took at face value the fact that one of my grandmothers was a devout woman who never left her home without wearing a head scarf, and the other was a Western-educated progressive-minded woman who didn't think twice about swimming topless in the family pool. Yet both women were forces to be reckoned with and by no means subservient. -Nina Ansary, Huffington Post - 9/6/15

In Iran, a Women's Soccer Revolution

- In a country where women aren't allowed to attend soccer games, the sport is taking off at the youth level--in part thanks to an Iranian-American -Bill Spindle, WSJ - 8/24/15

50 Iranian Women you Should Know: Tahereh Qurratu'l-Ayn

- Global and Iranian history are both closely intertwined with the lives and destinies of prominent figures. Every one of them has laid a brick on history's wall, sometimes paying the price with their lives, men and women alike. Women have been especially influential in the past 200 years, writing much of contemporary Iranian history. - 8/22/15

Ailing Student Activist's Continued Detention Violates Iran's Own Laws

- Prominent student activist Bahareh Hedayat should have been released by the end of July 2015 with the completion of more than five years in prison but efforts to end her unlawful incarceration have so far been unsuccessful, according to her husband Amin Ahmadian. - 8/14/15

Jailed Human Rights Activist Narges Mohammadi Needs Urgent Medical Care

- Imprisoned rights activist Narges Mohammadi's medical illnesses have reached a critical stage and require immediate attention, her husband Taghi Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 8/11/15

Punishing fines proposed for Iranian women who defy hijab

- The Cultural Commission of the Iranian Parliament has proposed a bill to impose heavy fines on women who remove their headscarf in public or simply don't wear one. The proposal calls for a fine of 100,000 toumans (about $35) for a woman who takes off her headscarf in a car. - 8/11/15

Activist's letter sparks campaign for mothers in prison

- A campaign to support imprisoned mothers has been launched by a group of activists in response to the recent letter from jailed human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi. - 8/3/15

Female Entrepreneurs Fuel A Changing Iran

- It has been a long parade of investors and foreign CEOs in the office of Nazanin Daneshvar, a young female engineer who founded the e-commerce company Takhfifan (Persian for "discount"). She welcomes such visitors, and foreign journalists, who have come to Iran to discover a country as hopes have risen that the international economic sanctions will be lifted. -Sophie Fay, Worldcrunch - 7/26/15

Rouhani Government and Conservatives Clash over Laws on Female Dress

- More than two-thirds of the members of the Iranian Parliament-216 MPs-have signed a resolution supporting the implementation of a law that requires women to observe strict rules on clothing in public. The Rouhani administration has expressed doubts on the effectiveness of coercive tactics against women who are not as observant as hardliners in the Islamic Republic would like them to be. - 7/26/15

Iranian activist Nargress Mohammadi decries plight of mothers in prison

- Nargess Mohammadi, the prominent Iranian human rights defender and deputy director of the Human Rights Defenders Centre who has been in prison for over two months, has written a letter from Evin Prison revisiting eight years of motherhood in the light of her activism. The letter, published on the Defenders of Human Rights Centre website, reveals that Nargess Mohammadi's twins have now left Iran and are living with their father. - 7/24/15

Iranian Intelligence Ministry Seeking "Maximum Punishment" for Prominent Human Rights Activist

- The Intelligence Ministry has made a written request to impose the maximum punishment on human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, her husband Taghi Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 7/14/15

Women now comprise one-third of homeless Iranians

- The Iranian president's advisor for Women and Family Affairs says one third of Iran's homeless are women. ILNA reports that according to Shahindokht Molaverdi, 5,000 of the 15,000 homeless in the country are women, adding that these statistics are documented and should not be interpreted as "blackwashing" the system. - 7/12/15

Jailed Iranian activist takes stand for mothers imprisoned in Evin

- Jailed human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi has written a letter from Evin Prison addressed to the Tehran prosecutor to protest the visiting conditions at the prison. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that Mohammadi has called on Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi to allow the prisoners in the women's ward to contact their families by phone. - 7/9/15

Iranian journalist Sajedeh Arabsorkhi released after serving sentence

- Iranian journalist Sajedeh Arabsorkhi has been released from Evin Prison after serving her one-year sentence. The Human Rights Activists News Agency reports that Arabsorkhi was released on Wednesday July 8 at the end of her sentence. - 7/9/15

Iran sports body invites female reporters to cover volleyball showdown

- With only two games of the world volleyball league championships left to be played in Iran, Iran's Volleyball Federation has called on female reporters to arrive at Azadi Stadium on Friday and Saturday nights to cover the matches between Iran and Russia. - 7/4/15

Law to let volunteers enforce morality worries Iranian administration

- Iranian Justice Minister Mostafa PourMohammadi says the legislation regarding the Islamic tenet of "Enforcing Good Behaviour and Forbidding Bad" is breaking rules about the branches of government and their jurisdictions. - 7/3/15

Mansoureh Shojaee' letter to the Chief of Justice of Islamic Republic of Iran

- In protesting the unlawful action that has taken place in processing my lawsuit in the Revolutionary Court, I Mansoureh Shojaee, journalist, researcher, woman's activist, address this letter to you. At the present time, I am a resident scholar at Hague, Netherlands, a research scholar in the area of social justice, human rights, and gender studies. - 7/2/15

Tehran Center For Female runaways Funded Mostly By Donations

- Iran's minister of labour and social welfare says a center for homeless and runaway women will soon open in Tehran. ILNA reports that the center has been funded mainly by various charitable donations from within the country. - 7/2/15

"Would you believe that I'm a woman from Iran?"

- Author Nina Ansary's new book Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran is being released this week, and a trailer the book's publisher uploaded to YouTube is both gripping and features a clever thought-provoking twist. -NY Times - 6/24/15

National Iranian broadcaster denies reports of gender segregation

- The Public Relations Manager of Seda va Sima radio programming says reports of gender segregation in the national broadcaster's offices are not true. ILNA reports that Ali Akbar Khodabakhsh said on Tuesday June 23: "Do you think Seda va Sima is a school where you can separate the genders." - 6/24/15

Iran's Supreme Leader tells broadcaster to separate workers by gender

- The new head of Iran's national broadcaster Seda va Sima has launched its plan for gender segregation in the workplace under orders from the Supreme Leader. ILNA reports that the deputy head of Seda va Sima, Nargess Abravani, has announced that men and women working for Seda va Sima will be separated in the workplace. - 6/22/15

Female Iranian Official Attacks Volleyball Ban

- A female Iranian vice president has criticized what she called "sanctimonious" men's groups, whose threats prevented women from watching Iran play the USA in a volleyball match. Although about 200 tickets were reportedly reserved for women at the Azadi sports complex in Tehran, security personnel around the stadium refused to allow any of them to see the match. - 6/21/15

Controversies haunt Iran's volleyball victory over US: Women barred from stadium

- Friday's game stirred controversies regarding the presence of female spectators in stadiums. Despite assurances from Hassan Rohani's advisor on Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, that women would be allowed to watch the game in the stadium, last week the minister of the interior announced that the ban on women in stadiums is still in effect. - 6/20/15

Iranian Hard-Liners Protest Women's Presence in Sports Stadiums

- Iranian hard-liners demonstrated in front of the Sports Ministry in Tehran on June 17 to protest the possible presence of women in sports stadiums. The protest followed reports that a limited number of Iranian women could be allowed to attend two upcoming international male volleyball matches, including one on June 19. - 6/18/15

Iran's Interior Minister announces persistence of ban on women in stadiums

- ISNA reported on Monday June 16 that according to Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, no new directives have been issued regarding women attending sports events in stadiums, and the authorities will continue to deal with the matter as they have in past. - 6/17/15

Head of Iranian police defends barring women from stadiums

- "These days we are being criticized for preventing women from entering sports stadiums or canceling concerts, while many of these actions are carried out under legal warrants and we are merely acting within the limits of the law," Ashtari said in a meeting with Ayatollah Makarrem Shirazi, a senior member of the clergy. - 6/15/15

Iran: Hardliners to work against lifting of ban on women in stadiums

- After years of debate over the attendance of Iranian women at sports venues to watch athletic events, and recent announcements by the administration that the ban against their presence is now lifted, extremists in the Islamic Republic establishment have begun a campaign to exclude women from entering sports stadiums. - 6/13/15

Behnaz Shafiei rides bikes against laws and convention in Iran

- Women are banned from riding motorcycles in public in Iran, but Behnaz Shafiei is working hard to break the status quo. -The 26-year-old has been riding for 15 years and, under the veil of her helmet, is regularly thought to be a man by onlookers. -BBC - 6/12/15

Female genital mutilation practised in Iran, study reveals

- The first authoritative study into female genital mutilation in Iran has found the practice is being carried out in at least four major provinces while officials are silent on the matter. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 6/4/15

Young Iranian Activist Sentenced to 12.5 Years in Prison for Facebook Posts

- A Revolutionary Court in Tehran has sentenced artist and civil rights activist Atena Faraghdani to a total of 12.5 years in prison for drawings and content critical of the government that the young activist posted on her Facebook page. - 6/3/15

Iranian Conservative Cleric Calls Iran's Veiling Policy Wrong-Headed

- A conservative Iranian cleric has sharply criticized enforcement of the obligation for women to wear the Islamic head scarf, or hijab, since the 1979 revolution and the creation of Iran's Islamic republic. Speaking last week on the compulsory hijab at a seminary in Qom, conservative home to many of Iran's senior clerics, Zaeri was quoted by Iranian news sites as saying: "I strongly believe that the policy of mandatory hijab has been totally wrong." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/2/15

Iran's Grave Addiction Problem: 33% Rise in Drug Use Among Women

- The number two official at Iran's drug control agency (Setade Mobareze ba Mavade Mokhader), Ali-Reza Jazini, announced this week that while urban centers rather than the countryside receive more attention in battling drug abuse, today drug abuse has become a growing issue in provincial rural areas as well. -Niusha Saremi - 6/2/15

Iranian woman breaks new ground by joining wrestling body

- Farnaz Panahizadeh is the first Iranian woman to become a member of the international wrestling federation's Women and Sport Commission. Panahizadeh is the head of the international department of the Wrestling Federation in Tehran and is the first Iranian woman to serve on a United World Wrestling commission. - 6/2/15

Rouhani clashes with Iranian clergy over women arrested for 'bad hijab'

- In his remark last year that "you can't send people to heaven by the whip", President Rouhani expressed a belief that citizens should not be forced into "good" behaviour, and in two recent speeches he skirted the issue of hijab, provoking a critical response from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, and from senior members of the clergy. -Guardian - 5/27/15

Iran: Female activists meet to protest Mohammadi's arrest, women's problems

- In an initiative by the Association of Women Citizens, a group of Iranian women calling themselves the "Friends of Nargess Mohammadi" gathered at the Tehran home of the prominent human rights activist to express their concern about her health in prison. - 5/23/15

Young Iranian Activist Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Facebook Postings and Peaceful Protest

- A young civil activist who has been held at Evin Prison since October 2014 has been sentenced to seven years in prison at her interrogator's urging, a source close to the case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, for her Facebook postings and her participation in peaceful gatherings. - 5/19/15

Iranian-American Artist Farrin Rahimi at Silicon Valley Open Studios

- Every creation is a journey. Along that road, you will feel, you will think, you will go up and down and even will go to the point of forgetting it all. But that will never change the existence of the original seed. So it might go away, but eventually will come back if you are not done with it in any form. - 5/17/15

One female allowed into stadium to watch Iranian soccer favourites

- There was only one female spectator in Azadi Stadium for the 80th match-up between Iran's two most popular soccer teams, Persepolis and Esteghlal, and she was a documentary filmmaker attending the game in connection with her work. - 5/16/15

Silence Did Not Protect Farinaz Khosravani

- Audre Lorde, feminist scholar of 1970s once said, "Your silence will not protect you" and women globally know this reality. While gender justice has moved closer from margin to the center of global agenda particularly during the last 40 years, still patriarchal power structure is deep rooted in many parts of the world. -Elahe Amani, Safe World for Women - 5/14/15

The Glimmers of a New Afghanistan?

- I went to Kabul, Afghanistan, in March to see old friends. By chance, I arrived the day after a woman had been beaten to death and burned by a mob of young men. The world would soon come to know her name: Farkhunda. -Ann Jones, LobeLog - 5/13/15

Man Arrested In Iran After Woman's Death Sparks Violence In Kurdish City

- A day after riots were reported over the unexplained demise of a young chambermaid in Mahabad, the capital of Iran's West Azerbaijan province, local authorities announced that an individual has been detained over the death, which happened earlier this week. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/9/15

Critics slam frightening nature of Iranian activist's arrest

- The arrest of Iranian human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi has triggered criticism from activists both inside and outside Iran. The Association of Women Citizens has written an open letter condemning the "sudden and unannounced" arrest of Mohammadi, saying: "Why did the officers, rather than summoning Mohammadi, swarm her house and create an atmosphere of fear." - 5/9/15

Iranian women's rights activists celebrate year of Stealthy Freedom

- A group of women's rights activists marked the first anniversary of the My Stealthy Freedom campaign by praising the "bold women" who have challenged compulsory hijab. - 5/7/15

Leading Iranian Activist Arrested Ahead of Her Trial for Peaceful Civil Activities

- Civil rights activist and Deputy Director of the banned Defenders of Human Rights Center, Narges Mohammadi, was arrested at her home in Tehran in the early hours of May 5, 2015, the Kaleme website, which is close to Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, reported. - 5/6/15

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi on Nuclear Deal, Islamic State, Women's Rights

- We are broadcasting from The Hague, where we are speaking with the women Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. -Amy Goodman, Democracy Now - 4/29/15

Iranian women's magazine shut down for reporting on 'White Marriage'

- Iran's Press Supervisory Board has shut down Zanan Emrooz (Today's Women) magazine and filed a complaint against it in court. The Tasnim website reports that the magazine has been shut down for "publishing material in violation of religious and national values". - 4/28/15

Princesses of Persia: Unveiling Iran's Female Ninja 'Assassins'

- Sputnik unravels the truth about Iran's all-female squad of martial artists three years after Western media published a story claiming Tehran was training ninjas to kill enemies of the Islamic Republic. - 4/18/15

Worsening Conditions for Women in Iran Begin to Draw Attention

- Almost two years after his 2013 election, President Hassan Rouhani and his Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, spoke up against discrimination against women this week, in the face of steadily deteriorating conditions for women in Iran. - 4/17/15

Rugby a surprise boost for Iran's underprivileged girls

- Rugby is a very rare sport in Iran, and it's even rarer for women and children. But a NGO working with girls from rough neighbourhoods has found that the sport is boosting their self-esteem in ways they hadn't predicted. -France24 - 4/17/15

Iran accepted on UN women's agency board despite US objection

- Despite opposition from the United States, Iran has been accepted as a member of the governing board of the UN Agency for Women. This is a three-year term, and Iran's membership will commence at the beginning of 2016. The state of women's rights in Iran has been repeatedly criticized by human rights groups. - 4/12/15

Prominent Iranian Activists Optimistic on End of Ban on Women at Sports Stadiums

- Two prominent Iranian human rights defenders have expressed optimism over the recent moves in Iran to amend the laws banning women from sports stadiums, but note that real and permanent changes will require time and sustained citizen support for its realization. - 4/11/15

Event at Stanford University: Women, Literature and Arts in the Middle East

- Attiya Ahmad (George Washington University), "Refracted Images: the Ordinariness of Middle Eastern Gendered Photography in Socio-Historical Context." - Dominic Brookshaw (Oxford University), "Telling Stories: The Female Voice in 19th and 20th Century Persian Poetry" - Nasrin Rahimieh (University of California, Irvine), "Women Writing Ordinary Lives" - 4/6/15

Iran To Ease Ban On Women Attending Sports Matches

- Iranian authorities say they will partially lift a ban on women attending men's sports matches. The official IRNA news agency quoted Deputy Sports Minister Abdolhamid Ahmadi as saying on April 4 that Iran's State Security Council had approved a plan by his ministry to allow women and families to attend some sports events. - 4/5/15

When singing is a revolutionary act: the women challenging Iran's fear of female creativity

- "How can we sing without the colour of the female voice?" This is the question at the heart of No Land's Song, a new documentary by the Iranian director Ayat Najafi. The film follows the director's sister, Sara Najafi, a singer and composer who is attempting to host a concert of female singers in Tehran. -Anna Leszkiewicz, New Statesman - 3/26/15

Challenging Iran's women's rights narrative

- Earlier this month, Shahindokht Molaverdi, Iran's Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, led an official delegation to the United Nations in New York to attend the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. -Faraz Sanei, CNN - 3/26/15

Iranian Children's Rights Activist Charged with "Acting against National Security"

- Civil and children's rights activist Atena Daemi has been formally charged, after six months of "temporary detention" in Evin Prison, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 3/22/15

An anthology of the final decade: exploring Iran's past through art

- A series of exhibitions from curator Vali Mahlouji examine the 'lost decades' of pre-revolutionary Iran. -Natasha Morris, Guardian - 3/22/15

Proposed Iranian Laws Are Setback for Women

- Proposed new laws in Iran would restrict women's access to birth control and jobs, according to human rights group Amnesty International. The group expressed alarm at two bills, moving through Iran's parliament, that aim to arrest the country's plunging birth rate and declining population, seen in Tehran as major threats to the Islamic Republic's future. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 3/14/15

The Next Einstein May Be A 27-Year-Old Iranian Woman

- She's called Zahra Haghani and you can read her paper, "Matter May Matter" online. What Sparrho has done is analyse her writing, and determined that she was one of several writers who were statistically most similar to Einstein. -Ian Morris, Forbes - 3/13/15
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