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August 03 2015
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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

Iranian women directors make most popular movies of the year

- "The City of Mice 2", "Ceasefire 2", and "Track 143", three movies produced by Iranian women directors, were on top of the list of Iran's most popular films of the year. The list was announced during a ceremony held by the Cinema Organization of Iran at Tehran's Eivan-e Shams Hall on Monday to honor the directors of the movies. - 3/12/15

Iran fails in bid for Asian football championship

- Iran has lost its bid to host the 2019 Asian Football Cup. It was announced in Bahrain on Monday March 9 that the UAE will host the championship. In the preliminary stages, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Thailand were in the running along with Iran and the UAE, but after a number of withdrawals in the final stages, the choice remained between Iran and the UAE. - 3/10/15

We Won't Be Silenced: Iranian Women's Demands in Three Episodes

- What does March 8 mean for Iranian women? What is their share of the decades of struggle by women's rights activists for equality? What are the problems and demands of those who live in large and small cities, in villages and more closed communities? -Parvaneh Vahidmanesh - 3/9/15

Iranian American Women's Leadership Conference

- The Iranian American Women Foundation is set to host its next Women's Leadership Conference May 3rd in San Francisco! Once again, IAW Foundation is bringing women together to INSPIRE, EMPOWER and CONNECT - 3/9/15

Celebrating Iranian-American Women On International Women's Day

- Celebrated globally on March 8th, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of inspirational women while calling for greater equality. It is in this spirit that I would like to highlight the acts of courage and determination by these seven extraordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their communities. -Yasamin Beitollahi, Huffington Post - 3/8/15

Vigilante Violence: The Acid Attacks against Women in Iran and the State's Assault on Women's Rights

- The Iranian Parliament should immediately withdraw the pending Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, which explicitly calls for Basij militias to enforce strict hijab (female dress), the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. This plan not only violates the rights of all Iranian women, it also presents a clear and present danger to their continued safety. - 3/7/15

FIFA Head Urges Iran To Let Women Into Stadiums

- FIFA President Sepp Blatter says Iran's ban on women attending football matches is "intolerable" and should be lifted. Blatter wrote in FIFA's weekly magazine published on March 6 that he raised the issue with Iranian President Hassan Rohani more than one year ago but that "nothing has happened." Blatter said the ban "cannot continue." - 3/6/15

Iranian Activist Ends Hunger Strike after Judge Agrees to Transfer to Evin's Political War

- Atena Faraghdani has ended her hunger strike in hospital, where she has been since her February 26 collapse in Gharchak Prison, after learning that a Revolutionary Court Judge agreed to return her to Evin Prison's Women's Ward for political prisoners, her lawyer told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 3/5/15

How Iran's feminist genie escaped

- Iran's 1979 revolution may have put an ayatollah in charge - but for women it had plenty of positive side-effects... in education, in the workplace, and even in the home, discovers Amy Guttman during a ride on the Tehran underground. -BBC - 3/5/15

Iranian Prisoner of Conscience Released After Nine Months of "Temporary Detention" At Deplorable Facility

- Nine months after her arrest, the lawyer and prisoner of conscience Negar Haeri was released on bail of about US$580,000 on February 25, 2015. She spent her entire time in prison since her May 2014 arrest on "temporary detention orders. - 2/28/15

Activists Ask FIFA to Intervene to End Iran's Ban on Women in Stadiums

- In a letter addressed to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Swiss-based organization responsible for administering the World Cup soccer competitions, 190 Iranian activists have asked FIFA to suspend Iran's membership in FIFA, in response to the Iranian government's ban on the presence of Iranian women in soccer stadiums. - 2/26/15

Subversive Facebook page wins women's rights prize

- The Geneva Summit for Democracy and Human Rights announced on Monday that Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, creator of the My Stealthy Freedom Facebook page, is the recipient of its Women's Rights Prize for 2015. - 2/25/15

Watch: 100 years of Iranian beauty - in one minute

- A mesmerizing video released Wednesday captures 100 years of Iranian beauty trends in one minute. Stylists transform model Sabrina Sarajy's hair and makeup to popular styles from each decade in a time-lapsed video produced by media company Cut.com. -USA Today - 2/21/15

Exhibition at Stanford: She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World

- A major new exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center, She Who Tells a Story, presents the pioneering work of 12 leading women photographers from Iran and the Arab world. The artists explore identity, narrative, representation, and war in daily life, inviting a broader understanding of the Middle East than what Westerners glean through media reports. - 2/20/15

Rohani's administration seems to back down on women's right to sing

- The Ministry of Culture appears to have caved in to pressure from Islamic Republic hardliners regarding women singing in public, as a recent report indicates that the female singer scheduled to perform in the opening of Fajr Music Festival did not perform. - 2/17/15

This is what the lives of Iranian women really look like

- Sari, a few hours north of Iran's capital, Tehran, is a small city with a population of 200,000. If you're young, privileged, and bored in Sari, Shoonesh is the place to be on a Friday night. Racing through the narrow streets, you need only a passing glance of consent from a neighboring driver to signal that they're down for a challenge. -Mahsa Alimardani, Quartz - 2/17/15

Iranian Vice President Shahindokht Molaverdi Meets Pope

- Iranian Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi met with Pope Francis on Thursday. In the meeting, the Pope stressed the need for inter-religion cooperation and said that freedom of expression does not justify insulting religious sanctities, referring to terrorist acts carried out in the name of religion. - 2/14/15

Female Singing At Center Of New Attacks Against Iran's Rohani

- A recently released album of traditional Iranian music is turning into a new headache for the administration of President Hassan Rohani, who's accused by his hard-line opponents of being too liberal in his cultural and social policies. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/9/15

Iranian-Swiss Woman Nominated For Oscar For Her Short Film "Parvaneh"

- Iranian-Swiss film director and screenwriter Talkhon Hamzavi has been nominated for an Oscar at the 87th Academy Awards in the Short Film (Live Action) category for her work "Parvaneh" along with the producer Stefan Eichenberger. - 1/20/15

The Trials and Tribulations of an Iranian Fashion Model

- Twenty-six-year-old Pegah Biglui has an unusual job for a woman in Iran: she is a fashion model. True, there are many dedicated models around the world. But what makes her story unusual is the fact she has chosen the profession in the Islamic Republic, a country that is obsessed with how women are perceived in the public space. -Shima Shahrabi, IranWire - 1/7/15

Iran's Women's Affairs Chief Feels Powerless To Act

- Shahindokht Molaverdi, the head of women's and family affairs, told the eighth meeting of women's affairs advisors and executives that she feels she is completely blocked from taking any action in her governmental capacity. - 1/5/15

Guardians Council Rejects Controversial New Iran Hijab Law

- An Iranian draft law giving more powers to police to enforce women's compulsory wearing of the hijab has been ruled unconstitutional. Iranian state media reported January 3 that the powerful Guardians Council, a 12-member group that examines legislation, rejected the draft law. - 1/3/15
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