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On the threshold of the Third Anniversary of the Campaign for One Million Signatures/ Sara Loghmani

Translated by karinneh kanants

Wednesday 27 August 2008, by admin

Feminist School: Five month after the peaceful gathering of women and men June 22 2006 In the Haft e Tir square which was met with violence by the police which was the first mission for the police women ended with 70 arrests.

Campaign for One Million Signatures for change of discriminatory laws against women started its work officially on august 27 2006.

The opposition of the government to our peaceful movement and its launch started their work hours before we had planned to start the official launching of the movement with attendance of well known Iranian poet Simin Behbahani, Shirin ebadi, Shahla Lahiji, Babak Ahmadi, Tahmine Milani …… by cancelling our permission.

Hence we continued our official launch in closed area and since then the movement has taken shape by many volunteers from all over Iran.

It was our intention that our campaign will work in open air and meet with people and spread the message of the campaign where ever possible, in taxis, in shopping malls, in the parks, in the queues for buying bread, in queues for cinemas. The campaign had decided to introduce itself to people by house to house canvassing and ask the people if they are against the discriminatory law they should sign our petition so we can hand them over to the parliament for the changes of the discriminatory laws.

Campaign’s aim is to make these equalities into law:

 The Right of Marriage

 The Right to Divorce

 The Right of Guardianship

 The Right to leave the country without the husband’s consent

 The age of consent for Girls to change from 9 to 18 and Boys 15 to 18

 Equally shared inheritance

 To be equal as witnesses in the court of law

 Cancellation of the polygamy

 Change the laws that support the honour killings

Campaign believes the best way to achieve its aims is to provide training and information to people; hence we have prepared booklets that provide information on the laws and its negative effect in our lives. The campaign started with a few volunteers and in a very short time the numbers of volunteers grow, and now we have volunteers in 30 different cities in Iran and something in the region of 10 different countries our volunteers are active, hence we were able to attract women from different rational and beliefs around a common platform. Growth of network became apparent very quickly and activist used what means they could to spread the available information and guidelines, more than 40 workshops were organised in Tehran and more than 30 in different cities and one of the work shop was providing training for attracting new volunteers and around 23 web sites and web logs in Iran and abroad were set up. Campaign has taken positive measure to restructure its networks which has made it stronger and effective. The religious leaders were made to take a stance which meant some of them viewed our members as dissolute and some who are progressive tried to support us.

The more people support increases the more the government’s repression increases too, 3 month after our launch the first arrestee was in Tehran metro during collection of signatures by a young Girl activist, and since then 63 of our activists have been arrested and on average 3 times each activist arrested and interrogated. The government uses every opportunity to arrest or threat our activists, their phones are tapped and under the guise of national security our members are stopped from gathering together so much so that our activists are not allowed to have a meeting if they are more than 5 to 6 people, the web sites are constantly filtered and have no right to any of the media in the country or to be mentioned by name.

But with all the hardship and limitation caused by the government the campaign continues its struggle and is hopeful in changing the discriminatory laws. Even though in the short time the resolution for equal inheritance has gone to parliament for ratification and also the equality in blood money for murder for women and men.

Two years has passed from the start of our campaign and all the campaigners believe that we should move forward with peaceful means and one day we will see equality in all humanity even though it will take a long time.

More information about Sara Loghmani

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