Iran: International Support for Women’s Campaign

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Iranian women’s rights activists are initiating a wide campaign demanding an end to discriminatory laws against women in the Iranian law. The Campaign “One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws” is a follow-up effort to the peaceful protest of the same aim, which took place on June 12, 2006 in Haft-e Tir Square in Tehran

We the undersigned, representing international women’s groups and activists, human rights organizations and activists, university and academic centers, and social justice initiatives, would like to express our support for Iranian women in their effort to reform laws and achieve equal status within the Iranian legal system.

Background Information

Campaign Description: Iranian law considers women to be second class citizens and promotes discrimination against them. It is noteworthy that legal discrimination of this type is being enforced in a society where women comprise over 60% of those being admitted to university. It is generally believed that laws should promote social moderation by being one step ahead of cultural norms. But in Iran the law lags behind cultural norms and women’s social position and status.

Without a doubt, women of lower socio-economic status or women from religious and ethic minority groups suffer disproportionately from legal discrimination. On the other hand, these unjust laws have promoted unhealthy and unbalanced relationships between men and women and as a result have had negative consequences on the lives of men as well.

On the other hand, the Iranian government is a signatory to several international human rights conventions, and accordingly is required to bring its legal code in line with international standards. The most important international human rights standard calls for elimination of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.

The Campaign aims to collect one million signatures in support of changes to discriminatory laws against women. It will provide education on legal issues to the public and especially to women, raise public awareness, promote collaboration between groups demanding equality between men and women, and document experiences.

The Campaign will be implemented through the following means:

1. Collection of signatures through door-to-door contact and dialogue with individual women;

2. Collection of signatures in places and events in which women gather, and where dialogue and discussions with groups of women can be carried out;

3. Implementation of seminars and conferences with the intent of raising the profile of the campaign, promoting dialogue, identifying supporters and collecting signatures;

4. Collection of signatures through the internet. The internet will be utilized to share information about the Campaign, including legal educational materials, and those interested in supporting this effort can sign petitions related to the Campaign.

Contact Information:

• For more information on the Campaign please visit:; or write to the Campaign Organizers at: forequality

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