Thursday, March 08, 2007

Iranian women struggle for equality

BBC News-In the days before International Women's Day, 33 women were arrested in Tehran for peacefully protesting outside a court building. Thirty of them were subsequently released, but warned not to mark the day with protests. Those detained include many of the big names of Iran's women's movement, who are calling for an end to discriminatory laws against women. It is not hard to find women who have been caused great suffering by the law as it stands.

AKI-Women Activists Freed as Teachers' Protests Intensify: Tehran -- All but three of the 33 Iranian women's rights activists jailed on Sunday were freed Wednesday night, on the eve of International Women's Day, in exchange for a pledge not to demonstrate on 8 March. Nevertheless, many of them and other women's rights activists said they would protest in front of parliament in Tehran on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile also on Thursday, teachers staged their thid strike in a week in front of parliament, demanding salary raises and that thousands of colleagues they say were fired for political reasons be reinstated to their jobs.

Los Angeles Times-Tension Rises in Iran Over Women's Rights: TEHRAN -- Uncommonly high tensions between law enforcement officials and human rights activists ahead of today's annual commemoration of International Women's Day have led to dozens of arrests here in the capital. The commemoration of Women's Day has been a perennial rallying point for those opposed to government policies viewed by human rights activists as sexist or discriminatory. This year, the hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad detained 33 women activists Sunday at a small protest outside the Revolutionary Court, where five women are on trial for taking part in a July 2006 demonstration against laws seen as discriminatory.

The Christian Science Monitor-Iran Cracks Down on Women's Rights Activists: Women’s groups here have abandoned plans to demonstrate for equal rights on International Women’s Day today, after more than 30 of their colleagues were jailed for protesting on Sunday. But even after that decision, rumors spread by e-mail and cell phone text messages Wednesday night that an ad hoc protest might take place anyway, in front of parliament. Fifteen of the women were released by late Wednesday, and the remainder told family members they were on a hunger strike inside Tehran’s Evin Prison.