Protest against Gender Discrimination in the Constitution: June 12, 2005 Tehran University

(in Persian)

Chants (6 min.)

The Declaration

On June 12, 2005, Iranian women gathered in front of Tehran University to demand equal rights, including equality of women before the court and in family law, the banning of polygamy, an increase in the age of legal responsibility for girl and boy children to 18 years old, and the reform of employment laws which disadvantage female employees.

The event took place just five days before the presidential elections and the participants were hopeful that it would not end with police violence because of the elections, said Shadi Sadr, a feminist activist and lawyer who participated in the demonstration. This was the first major public demonstration by Iranian women since their demonstration in 1980 against mandatory veil, Sadr said. Peace Work Magazine reported:

"Estimates of the numbers gathered on June 12 in front of Tehran University vary from a few hundred to several thousand. The rally started peacefully but soon the paramilitary forces that had surrounded the women started to close in, provoking anti-regime slogans from bystanders. The women protesters sat down, chanting an anthem written for the occasion, but the paramilitary forces eventually succeeded in dispersing the protesters, though none were arrested. All this took place under the eyes of the international media in Iran to cover the elections. Statements that were not read out loud at the protest were posted on women's websites, celebrating the birth of an independent women's movement. The experience enhanced the women activists' confidence, and they resolved to continue their peaceful protests until their demands for legal equality were met."

Movie by Mahnaz Mohammadi
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