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Iranian Women March for Freedom
Women's Day demonstration in Tehran brutally suppressed
Dorna Kouzehgar (dorna)     Print Article 
Published 2006-03-09 14:07 (KST)   
Thousands of women gathered yesterday in Student Park in central Tehran to celebrate Women's Day. They carried placards with slogans calling for equality, peace, resistance, and freedom.

Women`s Demonstaration (Arash Ashoorinia).
©2006 DK
As was predicted, the police and a militia group called Hezbollah attacked and beat them, using electric batons.

Witnesses reported the arrest of many marchers; in fact, during the last six months the situation of women in Iran has gotten much worse. While Iran is the only country in the world where women outnumber men two to one in the universities, a plan is now afoot to limit job and study opportunities for women, which has aroused their ire.

Recent studies show many young women in Iran suffer depression and wish to go abroad to escape severe Islamic laws, such as obligatory hijab.

At the same time Iranian women in Europe are conducting a strenuous campaign against the difficult situation of their sisters in Iran to protest death by stoning, hijab, sexism, and Islamic laws that consign women to second-gender status.

Women`s Demonstaration(Arash Ashoorinia)
©2006 DK
They are going from city to city, to finally gather in The Hague to inform the world of the condition of Iranian women. They also want to celebrate the first feminist demonstrations after the revolution of March 8, 1979. Some weeks after the Islamic Republic was established, hijab became obligatory for women at work and then spread gradually to all women in public view.

Police also attacked a group of girls last week who wanted to enter a football stadium. A similar incident took place last year, but then, after hours of refusing to back off, they were allowed in during the last minutes of the match. In general, women are forbidden from attending men's matches in Iran.

Although yesterday's demonstration was suppressed, it showed the self-confidence of Iranian women, what they want, and how determined they are to achieve their goals.

Iranian Women March in Germany.
©2006 DK

A police officer kicks a woman who attempts to attend a football match.
©2006 DK
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Dorna Kouzehgar

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