Friday, 28 August 2009

Imagine if...

Campaign for Equality

Your evidence in court counted for half that of the opposite sex.

You couldn’t take a job without your partner’s approval.

Your partner ‘disciplined’ you, and the law allowed it.

As a woman living in Iran, this would be your life.

In the 2005 presidential elections, 89 women presented themselves as candidates, only to be turned away as ineligible. For a year they protested, often resulting in beatings and arbitrary detentions. On 27 August 2006, a group of Iranian women launched the ‘Campaign for Equality’, to collect the signatures of one million Iranians on a petition that demanded equal rights.

Thanks to the courageous actions of these women and others like them, the profile of women’s rights in Iran has been steadily increasing.

They have made progress since they began the campaign:

  • Inheritance laws are now being reviewed
  • A new polygamy law, which would make it even easier for men to take several wives, was rejected in Parliament
  • The law which means a woman’s death or injury receives half the compensation of a man’s is being reviewed
  • In the last election women’s issues were on the agenda for the first time
  • President Ahmadinejad has appointed three women to his cabinet

But their struggle continues.

Recent events have led to members facing increased persecution, imprisonment and exile. Their website has been attacked over 17 times. But they continue to speak up publicly and to go from door to door, gathering signatures and encouraging women to stand up for their rights.

The Campaign for Equality has set up a petition for those outside of Iran, to show solidarity with these brave women. We are working with them to achieve one million signatures. If you’ve yet to add your voice, please do so here.

You can also find out more about women’s rights in Iran and campaign on their behalf.

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