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The starting point of the campaign of one million signatures demanding changes to the discriminatory laws was a gathering on June 12th 2006 in Haft e Tir square in Tehran (one of the main squares in Tehran) but it was officially launched on august 27 2006.

This movement is the beginning of very important changes in the history of Iranian women’s movement. After one year and a half it has gathered momentum and increased support and as a result we reached a conclusion that required some changes not only in our working processes but our priorities and values had to change.

This action was the beginning of an immense and important change in the Iranian women’s movement, so much so that within one and half years it provided the means for not only voicing the legal rights of women on mass level but also created the means for a high level perspective on activities on the ground and changes in our values in terms of priorities within the movement. Values and ideas which were mere clichés hence women’s issues were thrown open for discussion in our society at large, within the context of civil society. As a result the other important issue which we had to deal with was our organisational abilities towards a more practical and democratic method, hence "Feminist School Group" was the result of all the changes within the movement.

Introduction of new methods of organising was as difficult as when we established the Campaign as a whole, however in our final analysis the implemented structure has worked for this stage of our Campaign.

First Challenge

After one and a half years of campaigning it was realised that our processes in our organisation was not responding to the stage that the movement was, the processes had become a hindrance for the growth of the movement as a result of government exerted pressure, we also realised that Tehran’s (Capital City of Iran) branch of the campaign was taking the brunt of the pressure hence it made it difficult to function the way it should.

The calculated measure of spreading out to other cities with independent and shadowy branches ensured our continuation and uniformity in our strength.

The success of the changes was only half complete as independent branches established themselves but then they merged with the Tehran branch which meant going back a step.

Hence a fully successful branch which reflected our set program at that time was the "Men’s Committee" which because of amid pressure from the government had gone totally independent and in fact it had turned itself in to a small version of the Campaign.

Second Challenge with 2 options

With the success of our program, to have more independent branches the campaign encountered more aggressive pressure from the government and in order to reduce the pressure we had to make more changes in order to make sure our initial program was realised fully. Hence we had two options, the first was in order to reinvent ourselves and be more consistent we should be content with the old way of organisation but be more fluid in flow of information, what we had in effect was uneven similarities to democratic centralism. With flow of information and decision making, lagging behind in its timing with the movement, which was the apparent result of the pressure we encountered by ways of arrests and detention of our core members.

Second option was in order to move out of the stagnation, we needed to insist on balanced flow of information and more democratic ways of decision making with in the committees and sub committees. This would ensure more association within the movement which meant a healthy and consistent move forward.

Of course the second option has had and still does have a long way to go to capture the imagination of the movement in full but then again do we know of any changes that carries a one hundred percent majority?

Fortunately the democratic structure of the Campaign for One Million Signatures has the capability of assimilating both options and many differing ones for that matter; hence the first option has become more democratic and evenly balanced and as for the second option the result has been the "Feminist School Group" as the second front making sure the movement moves forward in terms of theories and organisational abilities.

For us to create a working model to be used by other self establishing branches, we had to set up "Feminist School web site" and also incorporate the valuable experience and working format of the "Men’s Committee" in encouraging the newly self established branches to follow suit. In the short space of time from establishing "Feminist School Group" we have managed to help more with the objectives of the Campaign on theoretical level as well as adding 3 more practical statements towards the Campaign’s aims and objectives going forward.

In our opinion self establishing branches in Tehran and other cities reflects the intended and success of the structure of the campaign in promoting and encouraging the potential of its members and the movement and as the Campaign for One Million Signatures is a legal entity and it is the movement of all the Iranians and have nothing to hide and we will report our activities via our web sites. With ever expansion and increasing of our new members we can be certain that our path is the correct one, hence we can be hopeful and proud of the "Campaign for One Million Signatures".

Contact Us

contact us via:

Email: feministschool@gmail.com

Post: Iran – Tehran - P.O. Box: 14335-851

If you would like to share your comments, opinions, and suggestions, please email us.

Report on campaign’s workshops: By Fem School

The first educational campaign’s workshop was held in April 9,2008 by Fem school members and participants from cities of Ghaem Shahr, Nahavand and Kerman .The ones who attended spoke about their cities and their own personal experiences whilst collecting signatures and in their face to face canvassing with people. The workshop let us and the participants to find out common values and different points about cities in Iran..

The second educational campaign’s work shop was held in April 16,2008: All participants were from Tehran with different ages. They discussion progressed around their own or their relatives difficulties which they face with the current laws .one of the participants who was in her 80s spoke about her the times and the hardship endured when she wanted to get married.

Educational campaign’s workshop was held on may 3,2008 in Yazd by Fem School and young activists. This work shop was the third one in Yazd and it was the first which was held by Fem School out side of Tehran .Sara Loghmani and Nahid Keshavarz discussed about campaign and different ways of activities and answered questions .Yazd is one of the first cities which joined the campaign.

"Equal Family" workshops

The workshop for preconditions of marriage was held on May 2,2008 by activists of campaign for one million signatures in Yazd jointly with Fem School in the beautiful city of Yazd. The first part of workshop which had taken about nine hours discussed about necessity of "Equal Family"and examined the reasons of inequality in family in different periods.

The second part of the work shop was presented by Zahra Minouie, The Legal Consultant and women’s movement activists, about preconditions of marriage and ways of stopping the parts which bring about the inequalities in families. Participants who were mostly young men and women discussed about the subject, although they believed the pre conditions of marriage is just a temporary solution in some families hence they believed it necessary to change the laws within the legislation. The workshop participants also concluded by mobilising for the changes.

Take Action

Sign the petition of one million signatures to end discriminatory laws against women.

- Sign petition (for support of Campaign for One Million Signatures)

- sign the petition (for release of women’s rights activists)

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