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Mehrangiz Kar:

A Broad Effort to End Discrimination Against Women Has Been Launched

Interview with Radio Farda, October 24, 2006

Friday 8 December 2006


Following the efforts of women’s rights activists in ending discrimination against women, the discourse on women’s rights has become common place. In this relation, Mehrangiz Kar, independent human rights activist, in an interview with Radio Farda, points to the new efforts carried out by women’s rights activists which is centered on education of women, not only in Tehran, but in remote locations throughout the country, and explains that these expansive efforts to eliminate discrimination against women, will surely yield positive results in the long run.

Mehrangiz Kar: Women’s rights activists have come to understand that for Iranian women to demonstrate sensitivity with respect to their rights, they must in the first instance be educated about their legal situation and understand the degree and nature of the laws that discriminate against them.

A number of women’s rights activities have announced that they have started a comprehensive and unified effort to collect one million signatures, draft new legislation which addresses and rectifies current legal discrimination. This draft legislation will be presented to both legal experts and the legislature for consideration. Fortunately these activists have arrived at the understanding that this effort must first be based on educating the public. These activists are conducting their public education efforts through the development of educational materials which are distributed in public spaces, and through face-to-face discussion and dialogue, with women whose rights are undermined through the current legal system.

For this reason these women’s rights activists have announced that they are seeking the cooperation of volunteers, who would be charged with educational activities, designed to create an ideal legal situation for women in the country.

Currently women’s rights activists within the Campaign are very hopeful to address this issue not only in Tehran but throughout the country, including rural and economically disadvantaged areas. Volunteers will engage in educational activities utilizing easy to understand language, with the intent of promoting greater understanding among women about their legal status.
Once women understand the legal challenges they face, they can decide whether to sign the petition asking for legal changes. The petition will eventually be presented to decision makers and particularly the
legislature.

Fortunately the Campaign organizers will not announce the names of signatories immediately. Rather they will wait for a large number of signatures to be collected before proposing new legislation and revisions to current law, which will be drafted with the help of legal experts.
At any rate, this is a broad effort designed to eliminate discrimination against women which in the long run will have positive results. In the short term, this effort needs the participation and cooperation of male and female volunteers to assist the Campaign and promote its goals.

The Farsi Version of the Article

 

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