Professor Nikki Keddie Supports the One Million Signatures Campaign

Tuesday 20 February 2007

The statement by Professor Nikki Keddie in support of the One Million Signatures Campaign against discriminatory laws in Iran:

Most Americans who have studied Iran for years have great respect for Iranians and know that they, given a better international atmosphere, will continue to be effective in their work for reform, as they often have been in past decades. Friends of reform and progress in Iran oppose U.S. intervention and threats of attack and believe reform and democracy will flourish only in an atmosphere of negotiation of differences and a reduction of hostile statements on both the American and Iranian side.

We particularly welcome the impressive Iranian One Million Signatures campaign against discriminatory legislation, which calls on the government to end laws that discriminate against women. This campaign has already succeeded in bringing in many Iranian women from different classes and outlooks to unite around a single goal that will benefit all Iranians. In recent decades some discriminatory laws, rules, and practices have been changed in ways that benefit women, but for true equality before the law several important discriminatory laws must be altered to become the same for women and men. The nationwide campaign to end discriminatory laws is a hopeful sign of the continued dedication of many Iranian women, and significant numbers of men, to the betterment of women’s condition. It can achieve in law what has already begun to be achieved in the fields of women’s and children’s health and in education. Such changes are needed to realize the full potential of Iranians, and Iran.


Nikki R. Keddie, Professor Emerita of Iranian History, UCLA, and author of Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2006) and most recently Women in the Middle East: Past and Present (Princeton University Press, 2007).


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