“I am a doctor, so I have no fear of death. Death is only a moment and no more. I am prepared to receive death with open arms rather than live in shame by being forced to be veiled. I am not going to bow to those who expect me to express regret for fifty years of my efforts for equality between men and women. I am not prepared to wear the chador and step back in history.” – last letter Dr. Farrokhroo Parsa wrote to her children from her jail cell.
Farokhroo Pārsā, (1922-1980) (Persian: فرخرو پارسا) was an Iranian physician, educator and parliamentarian. She served as Minister of Education of Iran during the Pahlavi Dynasty and was the first female cabinet minister of an Iranian government.
Pārsā was an outspoken supporter of women’s rights in Iran, and was executed by firing squad on 8 May 1980 on religious-revolutionary charges stemming from this position. Amongst the myriad of unjust accusations filed against Dr. Parsa by the hateful mullahs was her alleged encouragement towards the Iranian female athletes to wear shorts. Before the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, Dr. Parsa was the Minister of Education. On May 8, 1980, she was executed after a mockery of a trial by the Islamic Revolutionary Court . The official reason for her execution was: “spreading vice on Earth and fighting God”.
Promotional Film commissioned by Iran’s Minister of State for Women’s Affairs to showcase the various organizations dedicated to defending Iranian Women’s status and demands in society during the Pahlavi Dynasty:
An overview of the evolution of Women Rights in Iran from Qajar and Pahlavi eras to contemporary Iran. Narrator Neghar Mohamadi from VOA Persian’s Zaneh Emrooz.
Shah of Iran in a Speech from 1977 at 16th anniversary of women rights:
Ayatollah Khomeiny on Hijab and Woman in Islam 1979 :