Important dates

Iranian Women's Equality Calendar


Important dates
by Elahe Amani

The Iranian Women Equality Calendar is an expanded English version of a Persian women calendar collected and organized by the efforts of Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani and published by Nashre Toseeh first in 1998. The publication of the “Women Calender” was banned and she was prosecuted in 2003.

In a recent article written by Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani, she states that the calendar “provides a glimpse into the hidden history of Iranian women, a history that has not only remained unfamiliar throughout the world, but one that has yet to receive its due attention in Iran.”

The new English version of the calendar has also a brief chronology of the internationally renowned One Million ion Signature Campaign which was honored with Simone de Beauvoir Award in January 2009. The goal of the “One Million Signatures campaign” is to end discriminatory laws against women in Iran. The Women Equality calendar offers a uniquely detailed record of a vast array of activities and achievements by prominent women as well as lesser-known women.

The article states that the “ The women honored in these pages have challenged their prescribed subservient positions, and have penetrated a wide array of fields previously prohibited to them. It has not yet been a hundred years since the establishment of the first all-girls school in Iran- those women who participated in founding such schools and contributed to women’s education are honored in this calendar. Those women who committed their energies to publishing women’s writings and to founding the first women’s organizations are accorded a place within the pages of the calendar. You may read the rest of the article here..

The unwritten names and stories of Iranian women in history is not a unique case. Jane Austen (1775-1817), acclaimed American writer in her book “Northanger Abbey” wrote:

"History...tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome."

History books tell us that men made history and that women' have no history. How can we believe that women have no history of their own? and have not made any significant contribution to the history? Is it because the history, the way it was understood was the story of wars and politics and a patriarchal construct?

History never has been about ordinary people, about men and women, the unknown heroes and sheroes who shaped human society, rather, it has been the stories of kings and queens, defeats and triumphs, bloody wars and broken peaces. History was not even touching the personal life of men and women of power. It was only limited to the public life of those in position of power.

In United State, it was not long ago that it was common to read biographies of famous men in which their female relatives, mother, wives and daughters were never mentioned.

It was only in 1970s, that the U.S. women's historians led the way in exploring the private, nonpublic lives of ordinary people. Since, as the Chinese say, "women hold up half the sky," the new histories are as much about woman as about men. and that is the way it should be written.

Aparna Basu, Professor of History at the University of Delhi, India, put this concept in the following words : "History is no longer just a chronicle of kings and statesmen, of people who wielded power, but of ordinary women and men engaged in manifold tasks. Women's history is an assertion that women have a history."

Despite the fact that the presence of women from public was undermined and minimized to fit the gender role and gender division of labor based on an extremist interpretation of Islamic Laws, the generation of young women and men who were born and raised in Iran in the last three decade, , have charged themselves with the responsibility to write the unwritten stories, spoke the unspoken words, claim the unclaimed space, question the unquestionable traditions, and manifest their desire for equality and human dignity on the ground and in cyber space

These young women and men are making waves and making more waves in changing the discriminatory laws, to stop inhuman sentences such as stoning, to raise feminist consciousness, to wage peace, to defend the rights of children and to hold the government accountable. Indeed, they demand their share of a citizenry as they are holding half of the sky!

The inspiring women's movement in Iran, took it upon their collective energy to rebuilt that faded history one women at a time and restore the name and contribution of women who devoted their lives to shape the history of Iran. The equality calendar is just an important step in the right direction… �


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An omission

by Mehrban (not verified) on

Thank you so much for letting us know about the calender.

There is a pronounced omission in the calender which is Ms. Talat Habibi who was the chair of the zoology department of Tehran University who has written volumes of zoology texts which in my understanding are still being taught in the universities. She is in her 80s.

anonymous fish

thank you AdibM

by anonymous fish on

something, or rather someONE, else for me to look into.  i hear a name or an author and i look for something from them.  i'm slowly but surely building my own library.  so far it's been pretty tame stuff.  i think i'm ready to expand my horizons a little. 

ps.  i just printed the calendar.  naturally i'm doing it at work... use up the office ink...:-)   hope i get done before the boss gets back!

Adib Masumian

To Anonymous Fish Unregistered

by Adib Masumian on

I'm almost certain that Tahirih's quote was inspired by these final words of the Persian poetess Qurratu'l-Ayn (whose title was also Tahirih) before she was strangled to death by her own hijab:

"You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women."


simply wonderful

by Anonymous fish unregistered (not verified) on

i've been reading alot of iranian authors lately(women authors of course...:-) and i am even more impressed AND amazed by their courage.

if only women were allowed to make all the important decisions, what a wonderful world it would be.

Tahirih. i don't know if that is quoted or not, but it's simply genius. thank you.


Not just for women

by ramintork on

A society cannot become truly just when it ignores half its population.

Stronger and better-educated mothers, wives and sisters will result in better sons, husbands and brothers. Acknowledging these women would produce better role models for us all.




Thank you so much

by Tahirih on

For bringing this to our attention.

 Equality of men and women is not only attainable but inevitable.....




Very cool

by Niki on

This is really great. I wish some of the photos were better quality, but sitll, this is a wonderful idea. Thanks for telling us about it.