Monday, March 15, 2010

Statement by Iranian Women for International Women’s Day

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The Feminist School /

Official statement by a group of Iranian women’s rights activists who participated in a Green gathering commemorating March 8th. The Feminist School - On the afternoon of March 7, 2010, a ceremony celebrating International Women’s Day took place in Tehran. Participants included Zahra Rahnavard, Minoo Mortazi, Shahla Lahiji, Fatemeh Rakei, Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani, Mansoureh Shojaee, Farzaneh Taheri, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Farideh Mashini, Fatemeh Gavarayi, Shahla Foroozanfar, Parastou Sarmadi, Marzieh Azarafsa and a number of other women’s rights activists and families of prisoners. Every year in anticipation of International Women’s Day, there is a particularly refreshing feeling in the air. Several days before the celebration and a few days after, women’s groups and associations in Iran begin meeting, making decisions, and planning for events. The hustle and bustle associated with preparing for this day is a testament to the constant and ever lasting presence of women, regardless of the conditions; particularly when the conditions have been difficult and under pressure. Proof of this dynamic presence is the commemoration of International Women’s Day under the very difficult and critical conditions of the past four years. This year once again, despite the many pressures and constraints imposed, a number of programs and ceremonies were held both openly and behind closed doors by verious groups. One such ceremony and conference was “The Green gathering of women’s rights activists in Iran.”

The commemoration of International Women’s Day by influential female members of the Green movement was a spark of hope for all women’s rights activists who look to the Green movement for defending their identity and rights. Due to the current restrictions, the ceremony took place with the presence of only a limited number of women’s rights activists and families of those imprisoned during recent events. The groups that were present include Mothers for Peace, The Forward Thinking Religious Women’s Organization, The Women’s Participation Front, a number of members of the Committee Against Violence Toward Women, members of The Feminist School, The Association of Iranian Women, The National and Religious Women’s Association, The Committee of Women Supporting Female Prisoners, and a number of prominent female lawyers. Those present discussed the importance of collaboration between women with different political and intellectual view points within the women’s movement and the reciprocity between the women’s movement and the Green movement; emphasizing the continued support by both movements for the demands and concerns of women in Iran, particularly the importance of freedom of expression in honour of International Women’s Day. (Read more...)