Once Banned, Iran's Only Women's Magazine Makes A Comeback

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May 29, 2014, marked a memorable day for women in Iran with the revival of the country’s only feminist magazine ‘Zanan.’

Magazine Zanan

The monthly Zanan, meaning "women," focused on the concerns of Iranian women, ranging from politics and domestic abuse to plastic surgery. It argued that gender equality was Islamic and that religious literature had been misread and misappropriated by misogynists.

It demanded reforms, but instead, the magazine was shut down in 2008 under Iran’s ex President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who termed it a “threat to the psychological security of the society.”  

The revival of this 16-year-old feminist publication is an event to celebrate as a defining moment for the resurgence of women's rights in the post-Ahmadinejad era.

Under the former president, Iran became “the world’s biggest prison for journalists” and many newspapers were shut down.

Even though things have changed under new President Hassan Rouhani, the people of Iran still suffer a lack of freedom. As far as basic human rights are concerned, there has been some progress but people still struggle and fight.

Rouhani failed to fulfill campaign promises to allow greater freedom of expression and there has been a sharp rise in executions since his election.

Check Out: Iranian Poet Executed For Being An ‘Enemy Of God’

In a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, "The new administration has not made any significant improvement in the promotion and protection of freedom of expression and opinion, despite pledges made by the president during his campaign and after his swearing in."

Although Iran has released some political prisoners, there are still a large number behind bars including lawyers, women's rights activists and journalists, all fearing for their lives.

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