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Assembly of the Women’s Movement Activists on June 12th 2006

translated by :Karineh Kanants

Tuesday 29 July 2008, by admin

Feminist School: The highest peace accolade the Nobel Peace bestowed to Shirin Ebadi on October 2003 Was the reason for activists to gather from different women’s organisation with the presence of Shirin Ebadi. This gathering was the first stepping stone which became to be known as the assembly of the like minded; from this assembly the action to gather on 12 June 2006 in front of the university was initiated.

Gathering of the 12nd of June 2005

The call to gather on 12nd June in front of the university was placed on different web sites on 16th of June. The message in the call was "For years women have been struggling for equality
And have had many difficulties in this struggle. The dead end laws which exist in the constitution, civil and judicial laws. In order to gain equality women will use the most peaceful means possible as a collective to voice our strongest objections to current laws"

We were joined right from the outset by many organisations, individuals and women organisations and many equal right activists from different regions of Iran. The call to action was received positively by either agreeing with our statement or their individual statement.

The call to 12nd gathering brought about 350 of activist women from different organisation and carried signatures from 90 associations which were from women, the greens, youth, and Islamic association from universities. We also had 128 web loggers which announced their support and 150 free thinking men who send a message of support and received 1000 individuals from all over the world, from university lecturers, from human right activists, feminist groups, poets and writers.

Hence on the 12nd June more than 6000 women and men attended the gathering in front of the university even though the security forces made a lot of people who wanted to attend turn back. 22nd of June is a historical day for the struggle for women’s equality in Iran.

2nd anniversary of the 12nd gathering in Haft-e Tir in 2006

The second anniversary again called for change to discriminatory laws, with all the women’s struggle for equality, women have been ignored.

Us women on the 12nd of June unanimously voiced are condemnation of the entire discriminatory laws; hence no reply has been given to demands. As a result this year the in accordance with our resolution we will gather again and will voice our demands including cancellation of polygamy, cancellation of one sided right to divorce, men’s only right to guardianship of the child, should be equally shared, equal right in marriage i.e. no conditions for work whether married or single. Change the age of consent for girls to 18, equal right as wideness in the court of law and we will announce many other laws that have to change.

The support for the call to change discriminatory laws are gaining more support not only by Iranian’s in this country but from all over the world and none Iranians from Asia’s women organisations. The six noble prize winners, from Ireland Betty Williams, from US Jodie Williams, Rigoberta Manchou from Guatemala Alfred Jelnik, Iran Shirin Ebadi and from Kenya Vengari Metai.

Our literatures on effects of laws on women’s lives have been distributed all over Tehran and other regions of Iran. In any case our 2007 gathering was or tried to be stopped by the security forces and ended up with innocent people being bitten up and many arrested in Haft e Tir square, they arrestees were eventually freed but some have heavy sentences and court cases still continuing.

women activists who participated in the gathering, afther that, announced one Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws.

Third anniversary on June 12nd 2007

Activists were summoned to courts by phone calls and letters, with all the pressures and suppressions on the society we have to say to those in charge in the country that sadly it is placing the whole society in a difficult and objective position. We will continue with our struggle for equality and change of discriminatory laws, we are reminding those responsible in the country if we receive anything but logical replies to our demands and continuation of repressing and harassing women, not only women but the whole society will reach a dead end with no remedy.

On the anniversary of 12nd of June 2007 was celebrated and acknowledged by "Zanestan" a women’s journal and "Iranian Women’s Association" with a supplement on 12nd of June. On the Third anniversary student organisation "Tahkime Vahdat" was commemorated by a ceremony in their office and also commemoration by 100 women activists in private and in this ceremony Khadige Moghadam stated by saying "never will she forget the sweetness of the 12nd of June present and the bitterness of the violence which followed"

The Fourth anniversary 12nd of June 2008

This year we are at the dawn of the anniversary of women’s unity and solidarity, our society is in economical crisis and the ever tightening of socio political situation. A lot of the activists of the one million signatures movement’s carry heavy prison sentences; with all this the movement’s and equal right activists have not been deterred and more than before are committed to peaceful objection to reach their objectives.

This year in commemoration of the Third year anniversary a statement by more than 1200 signatures from individuals and groups was issued and a coordinating committee was formed to organise the gathering on the eve of the anniversary in a gallery in Tehran. Unfortunately the security forces intervened and arrested 9 of the members as well as Keyvan Samimi (The director of banned journal Nameh).

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