Two Zoom lectures in Persian.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
11:30 AM (Pacific Time)
What Drives Iran’s Population Rejuvenation Policy?
A lecture by Nadereh Chamlou (Atlantic Council)
The protests that erupted in Iran in September 2022 after the death of Mahsa Amini, the young Kurdish-Iranian woman who was arrested and beaten by the morality police, have since been labeled the revolution of 1401 (the current Iranian year). The courage and sophistication of the protesters has amazed the world. Importantly, it has made visible the rift between the ruling regime’s orthodoxy and the demands and aspirations of Iran’s GenZ population (born 1997-2015). A host of underlying social and demographic factors, among them the rapid fertility declines since the 1990s, have resulted in a citizenry that has increasingly modern expectations and secular values. These herald an erosion of the regime’s political base. Last summer, the government introduced an urgent ‘population rejuvenation’ policy to presumably address the future graying of Iran’s population. Addressing the future size and structure of the population are legitimate components of a country’s long-term planning. However, despite considerable criticism of its mechanisms, the hurriedly rolled out program seems to intentionally cater to religiously conservative segments of the society that are accepting of its questionable incentives. The regime seems to want to bring about a differential fertility rate between its supporters and detractors, i.e. a faster growth of the former vs. the latter, and thereby replenish its future political base.
One Century and Two Uprisings toward the Women’s Liberation Movement
A lecture by Mansoureh Shojaee (Writer)
The women’s movement in Iran, since the Constitutional era (1905) began with three demands: The right to vote, the right to education, and the right to establish an association. In the past century, although women have had some successes in establishing proper legal recognition, discriminatory laws have prevailed in every historical cycle. Yet, women have not only insisted on the recognition of their legal and equal rights, but also by the end of the century, they stood up to reclaim their confiscated bodies and identities from the Islamist government. From the first demonstration on March 8, 1979, to Homa Darabi’s self-immolation in the mid- 1980s, and with the phenomena of the girls of the Revolution Street and White Wednesdays in the late 90s, the seeds were sown in women’s everyday struggles for the emergence of the women’s movement, which included the Iranian Me Too movement. These successive moments, along with the protest of women, both secular and religious, against the state ban on running screening test during pregnancy, the ban on pregnancy prevention, and the state policy to increase the population, have all led to a physical stage of the women’s liberation movement in Iran. This lecture will enumerate the characteristics of women’s liberation in Iran, highlighting the impact of individual and collective contributions toward the women’s freedom movement in Iran.
Nadereh Chamlou is currently a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and an international development advisor. She is a former Senior Advisor of the World Bank, where over a 33-year career, she held managerial, technical, coordination, and advisory positions in fields such as economic management, corporate governance, private sector development, financial markets, environment, infrastructure, and gender. She has authored seminal publications, is a frequent speaker at international conferences, and serves on boards of several organizations promoting research, empowerment, and innovation. She was educated at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Graduate School for Economics. She is the recipient of The International Alliance for Women’s 2015 “Making a Difference” Global Award.
Mansoureh Shojaee is an activist, researcher, and writer in the field of women and human rights. After being expelled from university during the Cultural Revolution, she earned a BA in French translation. She is retired from the National Library of Iran. In the early 1990’s she became a board-member of the “Association of Women Against Environmental Pollution” where she wrote and translated works in the field of ecofeminism. Her activism includes a partnership with UNICEF. Mansoureh helped found the Women's Cultural Center in 2002, and launched the Sedigheh Dolatabadi and Evaz Women's Library. She helped create the “One Million Signatures” Campaign for Equal Rights and partnered with Children’s Book Council to create libraries for blind children, for which she received the 2010 International Children's Book Award in Iran.
Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Iranian Studies, Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, Musa Sabi Term Chair of Iranian Studies