December 12, 2009

WHILE THE UNICORN RIDER SLEPT:

Iran's New Crackdown on Women: Activists are being exiled, TV newswomen have had their makeup banned, and a propaganda documentary slams feminism. Dana Goldstein on the effort to kill women's rights once and for all. (Dana Goldstein, 12/12/09, Daily Beast)

“The campaign” is the One Million Signatures Campaign, a national effort by Iranian feminists to collect 1 million signatures on a petition demanding an end to discrimination against women. Human-rights organizations working within and outside Iran say the ordeals of the two Isfahan women—who have since been released on a combined $55,000 bail—are part of an intensified crackdown against civil-rights activists in recent weeks, a shift in government policy that is making feminist organizing increasingly difficult.

Since early November, at least 11 feminist leaders have been summoned to court, threatened over the phone, or banned from traveling. On December 2, Iran state television barred female announcers from wearing any makeup on air. And on Dec. 6, amid widespread student protests, more than 10 women were arrested at a weekly rally of mothers whose children were killed during protests of the disputed June 12 presidential election.

Perhaps most shocking, in late November the husband of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi was detained by authorities, reportedly beaten, and questioned about the whereabouts and activities of the couple’s two adult daughters, who are studying abroad in Europe. Ebadi’s Nobel medal was confiscated from her safe-deposit box and her bank account was frozen. The government claimed she had failed to pay back taxes, but coming on the heels of Ebadi’s support for a United Nations declaration attacking human-rights atrocities in Iran, there was little doubt the state’s intention was political.


What are the rights of Persian women compared to Democrats' desire not to be bothered by foreigners?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 12, 2009 6:50 PM
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