The women’s movement in Iran is based according to the social movement for the rights of Iranian women. The movement first occurred in the time after the revolution of Iranian Constitution in the year 1910. That time also was the publishing of the first journal for women. This movement lasted till 1933 wherein the last association for women was dissolved because of the “Reza Shah Pahlavi’s” form of governance. It was intensified again by the time of Iranian Revolution.
Between the year of 1962 and 1978, this women’s movement received tremendous victories. In 1963, the women gained the right to vote as a part of the White Revolution of Mohammad Reza Shah. They are also allowed to make a stand in the public office. In 1975, arise new rights for women as the Family Protection Law is concern. The law includes the custody of rights, reduced polygamy and expanded divorce. As they follow the 1979 Revolution, there are several laws that were established like the public dress code for women and the introduction of mandatory veiling. Since the Islamic revolution, the women’s right has differentiated.
The Iranians’ right movement continues in attempting to influence the reforms like the signature campaign that reached one million to fight the end of discrimination against women.
Between the year of 1905 and 1911, the Iranian Constitutional Revolution took place. The consciousness of the women’s rights leads to the establishment of magazines and societies. The secret operation, the low status of women and societies organizations have limited amount of data on the given subject. The mode of writing of women in that era is through periodicals, newspapers. These are the most important sources of information in accordance with the women’s movement.
Organizations and Societies
Women created different organizations despite the parliament’s refusal for their request in allowing them to organize political societies. The organizations they created include “Society for Women’s Freedom”. This is operated in secret until the time that it was exposed and attacked. Mohtaram Eskandari created the devoted women’s organization in the year 1922. Because of that her house was burned and she was arrested. Another women activist, Zandokht Shirazi organized the Association for Women’s Revolution. At the time of an early phase of women’s movement, the women who were involved became the general wives, sisters and daughters of the well-known constitutionalists. They were educated from the middle-class families. The secret operation of women, their low status together with their secret societies and organization, the amount of data on women’s right become so limited.
The woman’s writing in that years are through the periodicals and newspapers. These are some of the most important sources of data regarding their movement.
The women activist considered education as the key to fight the discrimination for women. They gave an argument that it would be best for the Iranian women to gain education. So that mothers has the ability to raise their children in a better way. During the beginning of century, there are foreign missionaries who founded the first schools for girls. This was mostly attended with the religious minorities. Bibi Khanoom Astarabadi and Haji-Mirza Hassan Roshdieh also founded girls’ schools; however the two were quickly closed. In 1918, after the time of unregulated and private schools, the government eventually provided funds in establishing ten primary girls’ schools and college for teachers training. In the year 1914 and 1925, the publications for women expanded across the discussions of education into the subjects like the legal rights of the status of women, child marriage and economic empowerment.
Women’s Organizations in Iran
Through the Women’s Organization in Iran, the women have the right to fight for every improvement that they want in their lives. This organization is non-for-profit grassroots organizations that work mainly with the help of volunteers. The organizations’’ goal is to encourage every women to take education as an avenue of change in their lives. Also they want women to work in securing their economic independence and to remain in the spirit of their cultural and traditions and to embrace tightly Islam as their religion. This works within the Women’s Centers and local branches that provide vital services to women. The services includes, counseling, childcare, literary classes, cultural activities, sports and vocational training.
One of the main victories of this organization is the “Family Protection Law of 1975”. The law granted an equal right to women with regard in child custody, marriage, divorced, increasing of minimum age for marriage into 18 (women) and 20 (men) and the elimination of polygamy.
Abortion became also legal without focusing great public attention through the removal of penalty in performing the embodied operation in the law that deals in the medical malpractice. All labor regulations and laws were revised in eliminating the discrimination for sex and the incorporation of fair play in an equal work. Women were stimulated to run in a political office.
Iran established a great part in for promoting women’s right to all the developing countries, introducing funds and ideas in the UN Regional Centre in the aspect of Development and Research for Asia and the Pacific.
The Iranian feminists are usually falls with two camps when it talks about the movement of women’s right in Iran. Some people believed that the Islamization resulted in “marginalizing” of women. Others have belief that it is because of dynamic nature of the Islamic law which is known as Sharia. This leads to the formation of unique consciousness among feminists. Among the activists of the women’s rights in Iran, feminism has its different meanings. The contrast of the meaning is compare to secular feminists and Islamic feminists.
Islamic feminists also called as Muslim feminist, are the women who has rights in advocating the improvement of women’s status with the use of more favorable interpretations understanding of the Islamic law. Some of the Muslim feminists prefer them to be called as indigenous feminist where they claim that they fight more for the women’s right. In spite of the disagreements among the different parties, they become united when it comes to the improvement of the women’s condition in this country.