At A Glance

Indices and Rankings
Gender Gap Ranking1 #127
Gender Inequality Index2 0.485
HDI Ranking3 #88
Political Participation
Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 3%/--
Women in Parliament ranking #137/133
Women at ministerial level (ranking) 3% (#92)
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1963/1963

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GovernmentTheocratic republic
Total population78.9 million
GDP per capita (PPP) $13,200
HDI ranking3#88
Population under age 1524%
Urban population71%
Internet users53%
LanguagesPersian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, other 2%

Indices Education & Employment Political Participation
Sources (January 2013): CIA World Factbook, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Internet World Stats, MDG Info 2010, Quota Project, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNICEF ChildInfo , UNICEF State of the World's Children 2011, United Nations Development Project Human Development Reports, World Economic Forum, World Health Organization Global Health Observatory Database. 1.The World Economic Forum's Gender Gap index assesses how well countries divide resources and opportunities amongs male and female populations in four areas: economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment), educational attainment (access to basic and higher level education), health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio), and political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures). 2. The UNDP's Gender Inequality Index is designed to reveal the extent to which national human development achievements are eroded by gender inequality. It is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health (maternal mortality ratio and adolescent fertility rate), empowerment (share of parliamentary seats, and secondary and higher education attainment levels) and the labour market (women's participation in the work force). It varies between zero (when women and men fare equally) and one (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions). 3. The UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: health, knowledge, and income. It was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. 4. Vulnerable employment is a Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 1B indicator; vulnerable employments are lower productivity and informal activities such as own-account workers and unpaid family workers. They are therefore more likely to lack benefi ts associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and recourse to effective mechanisms for social dialogue. Vulnerable employment is often characterized by inadequate earnings, low productivity and substandard working conditions that undermine fundamental labour rights.
Gender Gap Ranking1 #127 Adult literacy rate, females as a % of males 90% Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 3%/--
Gender Inequality Index2 0.485 Population with secondary education, female/male ratio 68% Women in Parliament ranking #137
Vulnerable employment for women (men)4 52.4% (39.9%) Women at ministerial level (ranking) 3% (#92)
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1963/1963
Lifetime risk in maternal death, 1 in 2400 Quota type --
Births per woman 1.7 Constitutional quota in lower house --
Births per 1000 women aged 15-19 31 Electoral quota in lower house --
Voluntary political party quotas --

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Women's Movement of Iran

Our work in support of Iranian human rights activists has focused specifically on bolstering the women’s movement and the One Million Signatures campaign in Iran. WLP has been working with this network, providing curriculum and training in Persian; raising awareness of the human rights violations facing women activists and human rights defenders; and promoting Iranian women’s equality and legal reform in international media and through WLP’s Translation Series. Read More >

In The News

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Reports & Updates
September 9, 2011 | Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Faranak Farid, Women’s Rights Activist Arrested in TabrizChange for Equality: Faranak Farid, poet, translator and women’s rights and Campaign activist, was arrested on Saturday, September 3, 2011 in the city of Tabriz. According to eyewitness accounts, she was arrested in the Amin intersection in the city of Tabriz.
August 14, 2011 | Human Rights, Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Change for Equality: In a letter addressed to judicial authorities and the head of the prosecutor’s office at Evin prison, the detained lawyer, political prisoner, and human rights activists, Nasrin Sotoudeh, announced that in protest to the inhumane and unacceptable treatment of her children, husband and sister during their last visitation, including a five-hour detention, she has decided to refrain from any such visitations in order to protect her children from any further harm.
July 26, 2011 | Human Rights, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Change for Equality: Activists in the Iranian Women’s Movement have drafted a statement which provides analysis and objects to: the lack of commitment and accountability on the part of the Iranian government to prosecute rapists—several recent incidents of gang rapes have been reported in the governmental press on which authorities have failed to pursue or prosecute perpetrators, rather they have gone on record blaming women for being raped; the use of rape as torture against political prisoners (men and women);
July 25, 2011 | Human Rights, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Change for Equality: Maryam Bidgoli, Campaign activist in Qom, was arrested at her home on Thursday, July 20th. She called her family on the same day and informed them that she had been transferred to Langroud prison in the city of Qom.
July 18, 2011 | Human Rights, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Source: Change for Equality On the afternoon of July 16, 2011, student activists Bahareh Hedayat and Mahdieh Golroo were given leave for the first time since their arrest. According to Daneshjoo News, the two activists had been banned from making telephone calls from prison or taking leave. Bahareh Hedayat was granted leave on a bail of $700,000 and Mahdieh Golroo at $150,000 bail.
June 27, 2011 | Human Rights, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
500 Women and Civil Rights Activists Call for the Immediate Release of Mansoureh Behkish
June 7, 2011 | Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Statement of 750 Women and Democracy Activists on the Tragic Death of Haleh Sahabi Change for Equality: Over 700 women’s rights and democracy activists have issued a statement protesting the violence that caused the death of women’s rights activist, member of Mother’s for Peace and religious scholar, Haleh Sahabi. The translated text of the statement appears below. Haleh Sahabi, mother of peace, the daughter of light, flew to the heavens and left us. June 1 was a day of gloom, a day for cries, a day to demand justice in the face of unspeakable injustice. The women’s movement and the democratic movement of the people of Iran, have lost Haleh, but not to a peaceful death. They took her from us, while she was standing and protesting. They seized her life. They stole her voice and her fist, and under the cover of the night’s darkness they stole her lifeless body too, so as to bury her watchful eyes under the cold ground of the earth. Today is not the day for condolences. It is a day of protest! View the signatures in Farsi on the site of Change for Equality
June 7, 2011 | Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Change for Equality: Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, has sent a message in honor of Haleh Sahabi, women’s rights activist, Islamic Scholar and a member of Mothers for Peace, who died after her father’s funeral procession was violently disrupted by security agents. The funeral procession of Ezzatollah Sahabi, a well-respected Iranian political activist, was disrupted by plain clothes security officials on June 1. Ezzatollah Sahabi had died two days earlier due to natural causes. Security agents who had taken over the home of the Sahabi family prior to the burial services, disrupted the funeral procession, and violently ripped a poster of Ezzatollah Sahabi from the hands of Haleh Sahabi, who was leading the procession of her father’s mourners. According to eye witness reports, Haleh fell to the ground after she was beaten by security forces. The cause of Haleh’s death is unclear. Medical examiners were not allowed to examine her body.
May 15, 2011 | Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Change for Equality: Maryam Bahreman, a women’s rights and One Million Signatures Campaign activist based in the city of Shiraz, was arrested on May 14, 2011. At 7:00am that day, several security guards arrived at Maryam’s home, and after inspecting the residence for 3 hours, they confiscated personal items, including her cell phone, books, and notebooks.
May 15, 2011 | Human Rights, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Middle East, Iran
Change for Equality: Mahboubeh Karami, women’s rights and One Million Signatures Campaign activist, will be introducing herself to the courts today, for the implementation of her 3 year mandatory prison sentence. She will be introducing herself to the security court at Evin prison to start serving her prison sentence, despite suffering from severe depression and a heart condition. There is serious concern that her emotional and physical ailments will only become more severe in prison.


Shirin Ebadi

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Shirin Ebadi, who in 2003 became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, is an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist. She is the founder and head of the Association for Support of Children’s Rights in Iran. For more than three decades she has steadfastly worked to improve Iranian women's legal rights and to protect the rights of the child. In Iran, Ms. Ebadi has been an advocate for an interpretation of Islamic law that upholds human rights, gender equality, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech.
S:SSO to Sakai