The Womenâ€™s Movement Coalition in Action; Step by Step
Saturday 30 May 2009, by
feministschool: Based on the initiative of some members and active groups of the Iranian Womenâ€™s Coalition, in only one day, on May 23rd, 3000 of the coalitionâ€™s informational brochures were handed out to Tehranâ€™s residents.
Upon the coordination of the Womenâ€™s Movement Coalition, it was decided to proceed according to the general agreement of â€œintelligently seizing the moments and chances of the momentary election campaignâ€ , and to use the extensive gathering of the reformist forces on this occasion - held in Azadi stadium - to increase awareness, state the basic electoral demands of the Coalition, hold face to face talks and hand out the prepared brochures among the -for the most part - fiery young participants.
This successful and empowering action, together with the effective workshops held in different towns and cities, as well as the responsible and active presence of Coalition members in the society and their determination in stating and restating our demands wherever and whenever possible, gives strength to the hope, that this Coalition of women is slowly giving form to a new style of independent group effort in our countryâ€™s civil society.
Within the last two weeks, members of the Coalition have held workshops on the â€œConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Womenâ€ (CEDAW) in different cities, such as Esfahan and Shiraz, Tabriz.
Furthermore, meetings were held in various parts of the country explaining the equality seeking demands of the Womenâ€™s Coalition.
The birth of the â€œCoalition of Iranian Women Stating Electoral Demandsâ€ , was announced on March 25th, in a press conference, where speeches were made by Simin Behbahani, Shirin Ebadi, Azam Taleghani, Elahe Kolai, Shahla Lahiji, Farzaneh Taheri and Shahla Ezazi.
Thereafter, the initial Statement of the Coalition was made public.
This document was followed by the Coalitionâ€™s informational brochure titled: â€œThe Demands of the Women from the Future Presidentâ€ , as well as the second Statement by the Coalitionâ€™s Public Relations Committee asking that the affirmed candidates object to the dismissal of the female candidates for presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Concurrently, numerous articles have been penned by Coalition members, on our electoral demands, and also reasoning the choice and mode of our current campaign and its actions.
On the other hand, with the aim of monitoring the speeches and promises made by the presidential candidates, the reproduction and distribution of the Coalitionâ€™s new bulletin has been among the other activities of the Coalition, serving to bring more transparency to the candidatesâ€™ words concerning the rights and demands of women.
The great number of interviews given by members of the Coalition, which aims to bring our common message to the general public, is among the multifaceted activities of the Coalition.
As long as the current momentum stays at course, and in the absence of any unforeseeable occurrences, the Womenâ€™s Coalition will undoubtedly be able to establish the independent role and presence of the womenâ€™s movement in the social and political development of the country.
It is noteworthy, that in addition to the Womenâ€™s Coalition, others â€“ among them â€œMothers For Peaceâ€ , book publishers, student groups, artists and the â€œSyndicate of Tehran & Suburbs Bus Companyâ€ â€“ have also stated their election demands and posed their related questions to the presidential candidates.
Thus, the initial steady step taken by the Coalition in enabling the first independent presence of the womenâ€™s movement on the election campaignâ€™s scene is bearing fruit, thanks to the efforts invested by each and every one of its members. Further steps may now be contemplated.
(Translated by the Womenâ€™s Coalition translation team)
Original text , photos and other links in Farsi: