International Women’s Day (8th March 1979) fell less than one month after the Shah had left and the atmosphere was already fractious. A big demonstration was held at the University of Tehran. The photographs show crowds of uncovered women, probably the last time that was possible since Khomeini had just passed an edict requiring all women to cover their hair in public. Kate Millett, the American activist (who died in September 2017) flew in and the demands for women’s rights were loudly expressed.
“At the dawn of freedom, the place of women stands empty”
در طلوع آزادی٬ جای زنان خالی
One of the fastest and most dramatic shifts after the revolution was the abrogation of existing laws that had protected some rights for women, however limited those were.
There was a lot of anger. There were many hand-made signs.
Top Poster: “Increase the facilities for working women and decrease their working hours to 40 per week”
تامین امکانات رفاهی برای زنان کارگر و تقلیل ساعات کار به ۴۰ ساعت در هفته
Right: “Censorship of radio-television and press should be condemned”
سانسور رادیو تلویزیون٬ مطبوعات محکوم است
Middle: The Persian text means the same as the English.
ما حقوق برابر می خواهیم
Left: “Colonised cultures cannot be dismantled by force”
فرهنگ استعماری با زور از بین نمیرود
The latter slogan foretells a great deal about the socio-cultural engineering that the regime tried to enact immediately after the revolution. This included censorship, literal and figurative book burnings, the purging and ‘cleansing’ of the universities, the imprisonment, torture, exile and assassination of intellectuals and artists that has been a tragic hallmark of the past forty years. But it also recognised the fact that much about Iranian culture and society had been intellectually colonised.
“The freedom of women is the measure of freedom in society. Defend women’s rights”
آزادی زن معیار آزادی جامعه است. کمیته دفاع از حقوق زن
Top right: “Without hejab, with hejab, we fought against the shah;
without hejab, with hejab, we want freedom”
Committee for the defense of rights of women.
بی حجاب٬ با حجاب٬ علیه شاه جنگیدیم
بی حجاب٬ با حجاب٬ آزادی را خواستاریم
کمیته دفاع از حقوق زن
“We all work, we all struggle, therefore we have the same rights”
همه کار می کنیم٬ همه مبارزه می کنیم٬ پس حقوق یکسان برای همه
“Women’s rights should be restored, reactionary law must be destroyed”
حقوق زن را احیا باید کرد٬ قانون ارتجاع را نابود باید کرد