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
January 1, 2011 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
Navid Mohebi, a young blogger and Campaign activist based in the Northern city of Amol, was released on 25 December, 2010. Mohebi was faced with a variety of charges in court including: actions against national security, spreading of propaganda against the state, and membership in the One Million Signatures Campaign. The court sentenced Navid to a three year prison term, suspended for the period of 5 years.
January 1, 2011 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
A court hearing was schedule to review the latest charges brought against Nasrin Sotoodeh: that of not observing the Hejab in a video message taped on the occasion of receiving an Italian Award for Human Rights. The court hearing was disrupted after Nasrin Sotoodeh and her lawyers objected to the procedures of the hearing. In response Nasrin Sotoodeh was issued a five day mandatory prison sentence.
January 1, 2011 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
Prison officials informed Bahareh’s family that she is banned from further visits for an indefinite period of time. It should also be noted that her physical situation at present is not well either. She needs medical attention for treatment of gallbladder stones, which she has been refused by prison officials.
December 24, 2010 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
Two One Million Signatures Campaign activists based in Qom, Fatemeh Masjedi and Maryam Bidgoli, have been sentenced to six months imprisonment by the Court of Appeal. They have also been fined $218 and $109 respectively.
December 24, 2010 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
Shirin Ebadi and the group of Iranian women activists who gathered to start a sit-in outside the offices of the United Nations in Geneva on December 20 to protest against the continued incarceration of their peer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, ended their sit-in.
November 17, 2010 | Human Rights, Middle East, Rights & Reservations: Realizing CEDAW, Iran
The United Nations General Assembly approved CEDAW in 1979, the same year that Islamic fundamentalists took power in my home country of Iran. Their first act was to nullify family laws that had given women some basic human rights, so it was no accident that the first uprising against the new regime one month later was led by women. Nor is it any accident that no group has been as vocal or as vital as women in the 30 years of resistance to Iran’s repressive and fundamentalist regime.
November 5, 2010 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
More than 250 bloggers and social and women’s rights activists have issued a statement demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Navid Mohebi a 19 year old blogger and Campaign activist.
October 28, 2010 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
Jila Baniyaghoub, an award-winning journalist and activist in the Iranian Women’s movement, is now facing a mandatory sentence of one year in jail and a 30-year ban from journalism.
October 28, 2010 | Human Rights Alerts, Iran's One Million Signatures Campaign, Iran
Change for Equality: Nasrin Sotoodeh, human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist was arrested on September 4, 2010. She has been on hunger strike since September 24 and has been denied the right to contact her family and her lawyer. Several statements have been issued objecting to her detention and calling for her release. Recently two statements were issued and nearly 1600 persons have signed these statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Nasrin Sotoodeh.
October 7, 2010 | Africa, Americas, Human Rights, Middle East, non violent movements, eNews 27, 2010 Events, Iran
Challenges of Change: Religion, Secularism & Rights Panel 4: Chaired by Carolyn Long, Speakers Pregs Govender (video), Marian Wright Edelman, and Mahnaz Afkhami


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