Mahnaz Afkhami is an Iranian women's rights activist who served in the Cabinet of Iran from 1976 to 1978. She is Founder and President of Women's Learning Partnership, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Iranian Studies and the former Minister of Women's Affairs in Iran's pre-Revolution government, she has lived in exile in the United States since 1979. Having founded and headed several international non-governmental organizations focused on advancing the status of women, Afkhami has been an advocate of women's rights since the 1970s, she has lectured and published extensively on the international women's movement, women's human rights, women in leadership and technology, the status of women in Muslim-majority societies and on women's participation in civil society-building and democratization. Her books have been distributed internationally. At 17, Afkhami joined a trade union and challenged a breach of her rights as a worker when an employer laid her off temporarily rehired her to avoid paying for the vacation she had earned.
She credits this incident with giving her the belief that organizing could bring about social change. In 1975, Afkhami was asked to join the cabinet of the Iranian government and became Minister of Women's Affairs; the post had not existed in Iran before and the only other person holding such a position was Françoise Giroud in France. In 2001, Afkhami published Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women to encourage women to be leaders in their families and countries, it has been translated into 20 languages. In 2010, she published Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women; the manuals have been used for training around the world. Afkhami and her sister Farah Abrahimi were featured in the PBS series Destination America in 2005. At the time Afkhami became Minister of Women's Affairs, her sister was a leader in the students' movement demanding the overthrow of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In 1969, two years after returning to Iran as a professor of literature and Chair of the Department of English at the National University of Iran, Afkhami was drawn into Iran's women's movement and founded the Association of University Women.
In 1970, she became the secretary general of the Women's Organization of Iran. She remained there for ten years. While Afkhami was Minister of Women's Affairs, Iran's legislation granted women equal rights as regards divorce. Afkhami has served as a member of Iran's High Council of Family Planning and Welfare and on the boards of trustees of Kerman University and Farah University for Women, she has written that "omen's empowerment is a process, a holistic approach that involves raising consciousness, building skills and reforming unjust laws that limit women's education, their employment, their participation in decision making and, above all, their opportunities for economic independence." When Iran's Islamic Revolution began in 1979, Afkhami was at the United Nations in New York negotiating the establishment of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women. She was charged in absentia with "Corruption on Earth and warring with God." She has never returned to Iran, living instead in exile, although she has said she would like to return to help rebuild Iran if its political system changed.
She contributed the piece "A future in the past, the prerevolutionary women's movement" to the 1984 anthology Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology, edited by Robin Morgan. In 1994, she published Women in Exile, a collection of portraits of activist women in political exile. Afkhami joined the international women's rights movement, saying: "The conditions women have in common outrank and outvalue those that set them apart." She became an advisor to the Vice-President and Executive Director of. Since she has written Towards Global Feminism. Afkhami has served on a number of boards and committees of international organizations including the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy, the International League for Human Rights, the Global Fund for Women, Gender At Work, Women Leaders Intercultural Forum and Global Women's Action Network for Children. Global Fund for Women, International Museum of Women, Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, Women's Human Rights Net.
She serves on the Advisory Committee of the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, the Board of the Foundation for Iranian Studies, the Board of Trustees for the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Afkhami believes that religion and feminism are not incompatible. Nonetheless and religion can be problematic in terms of women's human rights: "We must pose the question: why is it that the denial of the most rudimentary rights to civil treatment for women is always based on some fundamental point of culture? Is this culture real, or is it a fetish, used to maintain some economic, social, or psychological privilege?"She has taken a stand against cultural relativism and Islamic exceptionalism, stating that human rights are universal and must supersede religious frameworks: "At the center of conflict is the dilemma of Muslim women's human rights – whether Muslim women have rights because th
Nasrin Soltankhah is an Iranian politician, a Vice President under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from 2009 to 2013. Soltankhan received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, a Master of Science in Mathematics, a PhD in Mathematics from Sharif University of Technology. Soltankhan was appointed to the Iranian Cabinet on September 25, 2005 by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, she was president of Iran's National Elites Foundation. Soltankhan's portfolio includes both the position as head of the Center for Women and Family Affairs and the position of advisor to the President on issues pertaining to women. Soltankhan has mentioned three main points for women-related policies which the center will be focusing on; these are, “upholding human dignity of women regardless of their gender,“ “capitalizing on women’s potentials in managerial and decision-making arenas,“ and “emphasizing on women’s key role in families.“ Soltankhah has stated that the center is engaged in directing women’s capabilities into different social and cultural fields as well as generating jobs for them.
Soltankhan is a member of the political organization called the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran. Apart from her work in the executive branch of the Iranian government, Nasrin Soltankhan was on the City Council of Tehran having won a seat in 2003; the term of service for her council seat ended in 2007. Persian women http://www.iran-daily.com/1384/2391/html/panorama.htm http://www.iran-daily.com/1384/2419/html/panorama.htm http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_9956.shtml http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_9956.shtml http://www.escwa.org.lb/ecw/editors/pubs/ECW2ndReview.pdf http://www.mehrnews.com/en/NewsDetail.aspx? NewsID=39497
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was an influential Iranian politician and one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic, the fourth President of Iran from 3 August 1989 until 3 August 1997. He was the head of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 until 2011, when he decided not to nominate himself for the post, he was the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council. During the final years of the Iran–Iraq War, Rafsanjani was the de facto commander-in-chief of the Iranian military, he was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980, serving until 1989. He played an important role in the choice of Ali Khamenei as Supreme Leader. Rafsanjani became president of Iran after winning the 1989 election, he served another term by winning the election in 1993. In the 2005 election he ran for a third term in office, placing first in the first round of elections but losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off, he and his family faced political isolation for their support of the opposition in 2009.
Rafsanjani entered the race for the 2013 presidential election, but he was disqualified by the Guardian Council. With Hassan Rouhani's election, in which Rafsanjani supported him, the Rafsanjani family recovered their political reputation. Rafsanjani died following a heart attack on 8 January 2017 in a hospital in Tehran at the age of 82. Rafsanjani has been described as having been a pragmatic Islamic conservative; the Economist called him a "veteran kingmaker". He supported a free market position domestically, favoring privatization of state-owned industries and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West, he was founder and one of the Board of Trustees of Azad University. In 2003, Forbes estimated his personal wealth to be in excess of USD$1 billion. Rafsanjani was born on 25 August 1934 in the village of Bahreman near the city of Rafsanjan in Kerman Province, to a wealthy family of pistachio farmers, he had seven siblings. His father, Mirza Ali Hashemi Behramani, was one of Kerman's famous businessmen and a Pistachio merchant.
His mother, Hajie Khanom Mahbibi Hashemi, died at the age of 90 on 21 December 1995. One of his brothers, Mohammad Hashemi is the former director of IRIB. Rafsanjani did not see himself according to family members, he left at the age of 14 to study theology in Qom. There he became acquainted with the ideas of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the most senior dissident cleric who became the founder of the Islamic Republic, on the political rule of the clergy, he studied theology. His other teachers were Seyyed Hossein Borujerdi, Mohammad-Reza Golpaygani, Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari, Abdul-Karim Ha'eri Yazdi, Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi, Nematollah Salehi Najafabadi, Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i, Hussein-Ali Montazeri; when he was studying at Qom Seminary, he became interested in politics under Ruhollah Khomeini. He was one of the opposers of Mohammad Reza Shah's White accompanied Khomeini. With Khomeini's exile, Hashemi's role in the fight against the Shah and representing Khomeini in the country was highlighted.
This opposition led to his arrest and imprisonment. He was arrested 7 times from 1960 until 1979 and was in jail for four years and 5 months in total due to his clandestine activities against the Pahlavi regime. Despite the anti-Western attitude of revolutionaries, he had traveled to 20 states of the United States. Although individual major pre-revolutionary speeches against Shah regime, But Khomeini acted him as financial manager of revolutionary struggle as well as connector with other revolutionary groups. Among the groups that had a deep bond with Hashemi, was the Islamic Coalition Party, known as responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansur; this communication was another reason for his arrest. In prison, he found the opportunity to become familiar with other groups opposed to the Shah. After the victory of Iranian Revolution, Hashemi became one of the members of Council of Islamic Revolution, he was one of the powerful members of the council from its establishment.
He was deputy interior minister at that time and became the acting interior minister. He was one of the 28 founders of Traditional right-wing Combatant Clergy Association and one of the members of the central committee of Islamic Republican Party at the first years of the revolution. Years it was him that requested IRP's dissolution, his political acumen and Khomeini's full trust helped Rafsanjani as one of the most powerful politicians in Iran at that time. At the time, he was the closest person to the Khomeini and ruled as his "eyes and ears". According to the Gold, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was established with the help of Hashemi. At Iranian hostage crisis in 1980, Hashemi Rafsanjani mentioned it as "one of the largest manufacturer in the history". However, on the tenth anniversary of the revolution, he said in an interview that according to the experiences of these years, the hostage was "wrong". Hashemi served as one of the Tehran's Friday Prayer Imams, Representative of Khomeini at Defence High Council and Second-in-Command of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff in the last year of Iran–Iraq War.
He forced Khomeini to accept to end the war. Only three months after his appointment as Iran's deputy commander-in-chief, Iran accepted United Nations Security Council Resolution 598 and eight-year war was ended. Iran's first Election Law was developed with Hashemi's partnership, he nominated as one of the Islamic Republi
Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs
Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs is a cabinet-level position in Iran, headed by one of the Vice Presidents. Before the Iranian Revolution in 1979, only a woman served in a similar capacity. Mahnaz Afkhami assumed office as the government minister responsible for women's affairs under administration of Prime Minister Amir-Abbas Hoveyda. Shahla Habibi was appointed as the head of newly-established'Bureau of Women's Affairs' and advisor in 1992, her deputy Masoumeh Ebtekar, was the "main driving-force" behind the office. The office was renamed to the'Centre for Women's Participation Affairs' under administration Mohammad Khatami and remained an advisor position, with Zahra Shojaei was appointed as its head. Under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the office was renamed to the'Center for Women and Family Affairs' in 2005, a change that signaled the conservative attitude towards the women. Nasrin Soltankhah, Zohreh Tabibzadeh-Nouri and Maryam Mojtahedzadeh served in the capacity of heading the office until 2013, when the officeholder was promoted to a Vice President
Islamic Coalition Party
The Islamic Coalition Party is a conservative political party in Iran that favors economic liberalism. The party is the pivotal organization within Front of Followers of the Line of the Imam and the Leader and is considered a lay ally of the influential Combatant Clergy Association. Though still active and influential, the organization experienced a gradual elimination from political power after rise of new conservative rivals in the 2000s and some analysts dismiss it as something of a dinosaur heading for extinction. One of the oldest among the active parties in Iran, it represents older generations of conservatives and its main base of support is among bazaari merchants and shopkeepers in Grand Bazaar of Tehran and other cities, petite bourgeoisie and traditionalist clerics, it is the only political organization in Iran which possesses an organic relation with such a social base. Since 1979, the party members have held high government offices and are influential players in the economy of Iran, dominating Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines and having "a say in the appointment of the minister of commerce".
The party has interactions with Mostazafan Foundation, Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation and Mashhad-based Astan Quds Razavi. The party has affiliated parochial schools for girls, it played a vital role in the success of the Iranian Revolution. Following the revolution, it reduced its activities many members joined the Islamic Republic Party as leading members, resuming its activities after the latter's dissolution in 1987; the party had some 90 parliamentary seats according to Mohsen Sazegara. Islamic Coalition Party has an office for its international affairs headed by Mehdi Soli, succeeding Hamidreza Taraghi; the party held a forum on unity of Islamic parties in 2015, participated by Hezbollah among others. It sent congratulations to the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and maintains good relationships with the Communist Party of China, as well as the Workers' Party of Korea and government of North Korea. Official website
Politics of Iran
The politics of Iran take place in a framework of a theocracy in a format of syncretic politics, guided by Islamic ideology. The December 1979 constitution, its 1989 amendment, define the political and social order of the Islamic Republic of Iran, declaring that Shia Islam of the Twelver school of thought is Iran's official religion. Iran has an elected president, parliament, "Assembly of Experts", local councils. According to the constitution all candidates running for these positions must be vetted by the Guardian Council before being elected. In addition, there are representatives elected from appointed organizations to "protect the state's Islamic character"; the early days of the revolutionary government were characterized by political tumult. In November 1979 the American embassy was seized and its occupants taken hostage and kept captive for 444 days because of support of the American Government to the King of Iran; the eight-year Iran–Iraq War killed hundreds of thousands and cost the country billions of dollars.
By mid-1982, power struggles eliminated first the center of political spectrum and the Republicans leaving the revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini and his supporters in power. Iran's post-revolution challenges have included the imposition of economic sanctions and suspension of diplomatic relations with Iran by the United States because of the hostage crisis, political support to Iraq and other acts of terrorism that the U. S. government and some others have accused Iran of sponsoring. Emigration has lost Iran millions of entrepreneurs, professionals and skilled craftspeople and their capital." For this and other reasons Iran's economy has not prospered. Poverty rose in absolute terms by nearly 45% during the first 6 years since Iraqi invasion on Iran started and per capita income has yet to reach pre-revolutionary levels when Iraqi invasion ended in 1988; the Islamic Republic Party was Iran's ruling political party and for years its only political party until its dissolution in 1987. After the war, new reformist/progressive parties had started to form.
The country had no functioning political parties until the Executives of Construction Party formed in 1994 to run for the fifth parliamentary elections out of executive body of the government close to the then-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. After the election of Mohammad Khatami in 1997, more parties started to work of the reformist movement and opposed by hard-liners; this led including hard-liners. After the war ended in 1988, reformist and progressive candidates won four out of six presidential elections in Iran and Right-wing nationalist party of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won twice; the Iranian Government is opposed by several Militias, including the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, the People's Fedayeen, the Kurdish Democratic Party. For other political parties see List of political parties in Iran; the Supreme Leader of Iran is the head of state and highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forces, judicial system, state television, other key governmental organizations are under the control of the Supreme Leader.
There have been only two Supreme Leaders since the founding of the Islamic Republic, the current leader, has been in power since 1989. His powers extend to issuing decrees and making final decisions on the economy, foreign policy, national planning of population growth, the amount of transparency in elections in Iran, and, to be fired and reinstated in the Presidential cabinet; the Supreme Leader is supervised by the Assembly of Experts. However, all candidates to the Assembly of Experts, the President and the Majlis, are selected by the Guardian Council, half of whose members are selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran. All directly-elected members after the vetting process by the Guardian Council still have to be approved by the Supreme Leader; as such, the Assembly has never questioned the Supreme Leader. The Guardian Council is an appointed and constitutionally mandated 12-member council with considerable power, it approves or vetoes legislative bills from the Islamic Consultative Assembly, approves or forbids candidates seeking office to the Assembly of Experts, the Presidency and the parliament, Six of the twelve members are Islamic faqihs selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran, the other six are jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial system, approved by the Iranian Parliament.
These are the most recent elections. Active student groups include the pro-reform "Office for Strengthening Unity" and "the Union of Islamic Student Societies'; the conservative power base has been said to be made up of a "web of Basiji militia members, families of war martyrs, some members of the Revolutionary Guard, some government employees, some members of the urban and rural poor, conservative-linked foundations." Opposition groups include the Nation of Iran party. The military and the Corps of the Guardians (often mistranslated as