In response to the recent unrest in Iran, Iranian media is reporting on the first “International Congress for Women of Influence” held from January 17–20. According to the Tehran Times report:
January 20, 2023 An exhibition showcasing the achievements of successful Iranian women was held on Friday on the sidelines of the First International Congress for Women of Influence. In this exhibition, the achievements of Iranian women entrepreneurs in various fields such as electricity and electronics, medical equipment, technology, innovation centers, and home businesses were on display. In this regard, 900 female CEOs of knowledge-based companies have been identified, 100 of them were selected as the best in the field of science and technology, and finally, the top 50 participated in this exhibition, ISNA reported. Guests from 28 countries, including Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Cameroon, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, Austria, Kazakhstan, and Canada visited the exhibition. It should be noted that the congress for women of influence was held for the first time this year at both national and international levels. Its national level was held on Tuesday, January 17, and its international level was held on Friday, January 20. The event aimed to appreciate women of influence, support and help them grow, and promote their creativity and ideas. Women in various sectors, including science, research, innovation, economy, healthcare, art, photography, painting, society and environment, law, and media participated in the congress.
The report goes on to say that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi used the opportunity to criticize Western countries for what he described as their violation of women’s rights:
Referring to the fact that despite claims, women’s rights are violated in many cases in Western countries, Raisi said that according to the statistics, many women are killed by the police in these countries every year just for the crime of demanding their rights. “The reason why today the Islamic Republic of Iran is angered by these countries is because it has presented a new way of life by preserving the principles and values of the women of the society who have been able to reach high cultural, political, social and sports peaks.” In the Islamic Republic of Iran, we have always emphasized in the laws and regulations related to women that the protection of women’s rights and the issue of family formation should be given special attention, he stressed.
Iranian leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei reportedly had met earlier with a group of “prominent Iranian women” where he castigated the “decadent Western culture and its crimes against women.”
Read the full report here.
The latest Iranian protests over women’s rights are centered on Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died in police custody on September 25, 2022. Protests have been calling for the fall of the clerical establishment as well as an end to discriminatory rules against women and girls in Iran. Women have been burning their hijabs, cutting their hair, and leading mass protests to demand their rights and freedoms. The protests are also striking for their scale, ferocity, and rare feminist nature, with the last demonstrations of this size occurring three years prior.