August 28, 2006


RAFSANJANI'S DAUGHTER TAKES ACTIVE ROLE: Religion 'not limiting' women in Iran (GARY TEGLER, 8/28/06, The Japan Times

Born into an educated, politically active family in Iran, Fatemeh Hashemi defies the image of Muslim women often held in Japan.

"Ninety-nine percent of Iranians are religious. This says nothing against modernity," Hashemi, the eldest daughter of Hashemi Rafsanjani, president of Iran from 1989 to 1997, said in an interview Sunday.

"The Shiite sect has an element of dynamism and you can adapt yourself and the laws to new conditions. Religion is not a limitation or restriction for progress. Seventy percent of university students are female. The rate of literacy among women when the revolution took place (in 1979) was 32 percent. This has now changed to 84 percent," she said. [...]

Fifteen years ago, she founded the Women's Solidarity Association, one of three NGOs she currently heads. The association's objectives are to review women's problems in Iran and to make recommendations to the government. Her efforts, and those of her cohorts, brought about changes to Iranian laws, particularly those that pertain to marriage and a woman's right to work and be educated.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 28, 2006 12:46 AM

Women will reform Islam.

Posted by: erp at August 28, 2006 10:08 AM

Didn't the Soviet Union have its share of "independent" "NGOs" "run" by children of the members of the Politburo and other elites in the nomenklatura?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 28, 2006 11:16 AM

No, their children defected to the West after their father's were purged. The USSR was totalitarian.

Posted by: oj at August 28, 2006 11:20 AM

Erp: That would be nice, but what we may be seeing is the Iranians natural human aspirations breaking through the ineptitude of their system. My fear is that when the keepers of the spiritual jailhouse recognize what is taking place they will resort to a lock-down.

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 28, 2006 12:10 PM

The keepers are the liberators.

Posted by: oj at August 28, 2006 12:22 PM

Lou, maybe I'm just being overly optimistic, but I think it's the right time for reform at least of women's issues.

Moslem women are speaking out publicly not only in Iran, but in other countries where free speech is permitted. I think this will begin slowly as it has, but will accelerate as the word spreads. These women aren't condemning Islamic law as much as condemning how Islamic laws are being interpreted by some fundamentalist sects.

As for clamping down. It's getting harder and harder to do as those pesky videos showing atrocities have become ubiquitous on the net.

Posted by: erp at August 28, 2006 2:31 PM

Women were central to the Iranian Revolution.

Posted by: oj at August 28, 2006 2:57 PM

Yeah, but the state is still killing female rape victims. When that practice stops, then there is progress.

Posted by: ic at August 28, 2006 3:00 PM

No, it isn't.

Posted by: oj at August 28, 2006 4:21 PM