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Anniversary of "Emancipation Law"

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Anniversary of "Emancipation Law" Reply with quote

Iranian Women Greet Anniversary of "Emancipation Law"

SMCCDI (Information Service)
January 7, 2006

Millions of Iranian Women greeted, today, the seventieth
anniversary of the "Women's Emancipation Law". This
measure, seeking to establish the gender equality, was
adopted in 1935 and remained in full force, till its
abolishment by the Islamist clergy who took the power in
1979 and instated the current "Gender Apartheid Policy".

Many Iranian women and especially young girls were seen
speaking about the then revolutionary law and cherished its
modernist legacy. Many were openly comparing their actual
dark status with the enlighted conditions which were
prevailing three decades ago, when women were equal to men
and were able to enjoy of almost the same rights and degree
of freedom.

Many especially among female students were openly mocking
the clerics and were promising to bring them down from

Others were sharply criticizing controversial individuals,
such as, Shirin Ebadi and Mehranguiz Kar who are currently
promoted by some foreign circles as women's rights'
defenders. Indeed, many Iranians remember them as the
accomplices of Ayatollah Khomeini and as those who fueled
the instauration of the "Gender Apartheid Policy".

Ebadi and Kar, a then judge and a then lawyer, are well
known for having pushed the limit, in their opposition to
the former Iranian regime, till endorsing openly the veil
by covering their heads with scarves in support of the
dogmatic clerical revolution. They did such a shameful act,
by end 1978, at a time that thousands of Iranian women,
aware of what was going to happen if clerics would come to
take the power, marched in Tehran's streets by shouting the
famous slogan "Na Roossari, Na Too-Sari" (No to Veil, No to

For many it was Ebadi and Kar alikes who gave a kind of
justification to Islamists for attacking women who were
opposed to the Mandatory Veil and the gender

Others were condemning some leftist groups which are still
refusing to mention the name of such a memorable Iranian
day and its unprecedented legacy for Iranian women. These
groups are well known for only focusing on "March 8" which
is the "International Women's Day" while keeping the
silence, or worst, by even condemning the "Iranian women's
Emancipation Law". Such controversial take of position has
its root in these groups' blind opposition to Iran's former
regime and the fact that most of them are in reality
political shops which are capitalizing on Iranian women
rather than genuinely trying to defend them.

Several female students were heard stating: "These leftist
or so-called feminist groups and their activists are not
genuine women defenders... They avoid mentioning and
cherish such a genuine Iranian day... They're more
attached to imported symbols, such as, Rosa Luxembourg as
the Islamists are attached to Hussein or Ali (Shias

Others were blasting opportunist individuals, such as,
Christian Amanpoor - the CNN Anchor of Iranian origin - who
was heard justifying in her way the repression, of Iranian
women, by stating that "the situation of Iranian women is
not bad in general as for example and in contrary to Saudi
Arabia, they have the right to drive car".

Amanpoor omitted to mention, in that 2002 San Francisco
meeting, the fact that Iranian women's status and history
were totally different than their Saudi Arabian sisters. In
addition, it's a well known fact that the Islamic republic
restituted Amanpoor's paternal properties around the same
time that she was making favorable reports for the
Khatami's administration.

Many were seen happy to read or hear the take of position
of the former Iranian Queen who issued, today, a communiqué
in remembrance of this key date and at the occasion of its
seventieth anniversary. In parts of her message of hope
which was widely distributed and was seen changing hand
from hand, Farah Pahlavi-Diba reminded the legacy of the
"Emancipation Law" and condemned the current women's

In another part of her statement and after calling for
"women's unity around their common aspiration for
emancipation", Pahlavi-Diba was correctly pointed to the
fact that "It's the struggle of Iranian women which has
lead to the mullahs' confusion and misery." In the closing
part of this statement, the one known as the Shahbanoo
predicted that "soon, Iranian women would greet the sun

The latter who benefits of an important degree of trust and
popularity among Iranian masses, as a symbol of modernism
and gender equality, had tried to stay afar from politic
till now. But it seems that the degradation of Iran's
social and political conditions have brought her to break
the silence. Even, many republicans believe that
Pahlavi-Diba can play a major role as a Catalyst for change
in Iran.

On January 7, 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi, founder of the
former Iranian regime, shook the backwarded religious,
social and political foundations which were existing since
the Islamist invasion of Iran made fourteen centuries
earlier. He gave back to Iranian women their past natural
rights and forced the then backwarded Iranian society to
accept the existence of women without the veil and as an
equal partner of men in the society. The measure,
unprecedented in a then Muslim country, paved the ground
for Iranian women to access all social, professional and
political spheres. Women who were considered till then as
half of a human being were soon able to become teacher,
doctor, researcher, engineer, architect, artist, lawyer,
judge, ambassadress, ministry of state, soldier, sailor and
even fighter pilot.

Iranian women's "right to vote" followed in 1963, meaning a
year earlier than some western countries, such as,
Switzerland. This law raised the Islamists anger against
Mohamad-Reza Shah Pahlavi and became a key element in
Khomeini's march toward political power which was gained
sixteen years later.

The result of Khomeini?s accession to power and the
dramatic situation of Iranian women are well known. Women
were banned from many jobs or studies. The lost the right
of divorce, keeping their children in case of conjugal
separation. Polygamy's "right" was re-instated for men and
females can be forced to marry passed the age of fourteen.
Women's share of inheritance or decision has been reduced
to half of a man and women are considered as a source of
temptation by Islamists.

It was only due to the legacy of the "Emancipation Law" and
its four decades of governmental promoted and protected
application, that clerics were later unable to force
Iranian women to stay at home as they intended to pass a
law in that line. It's due to the very same law and its
ramifications that Iranian women have, in ourdays, such as
noticeable aspiration toward modernity and secularism.

Many believe that the Iranian women are the ultimate force
who will bring down the Islamic republic regime, if a well
trusted and respected feminist and modernist symbol would
actively work in order to unify them.

For a better understanding of Iranian Women's struggle and
the roots of the current challenges, read:



Comments / Nazariat:
Tel: +1 (972) 504-6864
Fax: +1 (972) 491-9866
E.mail: smccdi@daneshjoo.org

www.daneshjoo.org www.iranstudents.org

The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy
in Iran" (SMCCDI) / "Komite e Hamahangui e Jonbesh e
Daneshjoo i Baraye Democracy dar Iran"
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