Iran Women's Movement

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.

One Million Signatures Campaign

This campaign, founded in 2006, mobilizes a diverse group of activists both on the ground and online to collect signatures, raise awareness, and spark dialogue about the negative impact of discriminatory family laws on women’s lives and on society as a whole, resulting in a dynamic social justice movement.

WLP has been working with this network, as well as activists and academics in the Iranian diaspora, providing curriculum and training in Persian, including our Leading to Choices participatory leadership and Leading to Action advocacy training manuals; 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.

Curriculum and Training

WLP has made training workshops available to a network of activists through both face-to-face Training Institutes and online eCourses and webinars, as early as 2004, using our horizontal and dialogue-based curriculum.

Indeed, WLP offers culture-specific leadership and advocacy training curriculum in Persian, including Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women, Leading to Choices: A Multimedia Curriculum for Leadership Learning, and Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women, which use interactive exercises and real-life case studies to convey the concept of participatory leadership and advocacy, and to enable training participants to develop personal leadership skills and develop a shared vision and action plan.

WLP hosts online distance learning courses (eCourses) in Persian in participatory leadership to reach out to those women, including human rights activists in Iran, whose ability to attend face-to-face workshops is constrained by security considerations or socio-cultural factors.

WLP’s Translation Series

WLP’s Translation Series, which aims to increase the availability of feminist works produced in the Global South, has been a key tool in both informing and building upon the activism of the women’s movement in Iran. Our first volume, Guide to Equality in the Family in the Maghreb, a multifaceted advocacy approach to family law reform, became an important framework for Iranian women’s rights activists in the One Million Signatures campaign.

The next Translation Series publication, “Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story,” details the history, strategies, and values that brought together a diverse group of women and activists in the Iranian women’s rights movement and the One Million Signatures campaign. It includes resources on Iranian law and key campaign documents and tools, as well as updated material contextualizing the role of the women’s movement leading up to and following Iran’s June 2009 presidential election. One Million Signatures was recently translated into Arabic and is especially timely given the movements in the Middle East and North Africa, as it provides an important tool for women, human rights advocates, and academics, to address creative means by which women can mobilize to preserve their legal rights during times of transition.

Movement Support and Human Rights Alerts

As more and more prominent activists in the country have been forced into exile, WLP has worked to strengthen their presence and strategic interactions. Discussions are taking place on how to engage exiled leaders of the Iranian women’s movement in their continuing struggle for women’s rights and legal equality, and how to effectively bridge the work of activists in exile with the work of grassroots campaigners who remain in the country.

WLP circulates human rights alerts and updates from the One Million Signatures campaign, as well as posts on the harassment of Iranian women’s and human rights activists. Through WLP’s wide online presence, WLP continues to bring attention to these activists ’ situation and that of other Iranian women’s rights advocates, who are under scrutiny.

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