From its beginning as a day of solidarity of European Marxists with American working women in 1911, to its continuing observance writing new chapters in the development of revolutionary movements world-wide, International Women's Day (IWD) has been integral to most 20th century revolutions. Specifically in Iran, women observing IWD in 1979 were the first to challenge Khomeiny's rise to power. It was again women observing IWD that opened a new stage of opposition to the fundamentalist regime there.
The Million Signature Campaign in Iran started with an celebration of IWD four years ago. A demonstration of about 20-25, on March 8, 2004, talked about women's human rights and how they were being violated. From this initial event, a campaign developed to collect a million signatures on a petition to the government to address women's issues. The campaign was designed to reach all segments of society, especially working class people.
Simin Marashi, one of the organizers of this campaign, will present the history of it and the issues that are raised by women in Iran. She has been working in Iran as a feminist and child-labor activist. She is a member of the first Women's Library in Iran and a member of the Women's Cultural Center.
Sponsored by the Institute for the Critical Study of Society (ICSS)
For more information call 510 595-7417 or visit http://www.tifcss.org