Ladies' UnSecret Society
Thought leaders on Iran to follow, interview + promote
Amid the rise of dogmatic clerics in the early 20th century, Iranian women met in 1910 and organized the “Ladies’ Secret Society,” writes Iranian-born author Manda Zand Ervin in a book, The Ladies’ Secret Society: History of the Courageous Women of Iran. The societies taught girls in schools, published magazines, hosted conferences and pushed reforms to assert women’s and children’s rights.
But with the rise of movements pushing Muslim supremacy, Islamic theocracy and religious law, or sharia, in governance, a new threat emerged to women’s rights: political Islam, or Islamism. The Islamic revolution in 1979 drove the women’s rights movement in Iran underground.
The most high-profile casualty of this tragic loss of human rights was the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after being arrested by the morality police on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2022.
Women have taken to the streets of Iran, burning their scarves, cutting their hair, climbing cars and shouting, “Death to the regime!”
There is a battalion of women and men who are champions for the cause of democracy, freedom and women’s rights in Iran.
Let’s call them the Ladies’ UnSecret Society.
Please follow them. Let’s get their voices on shows, the op-ed pages and the speakers’ circuit. Pitch them to TV shows, producers and op-ed editors. This is just the starting list!
If you have a name to add, email firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message via Twitter at @AsraNomani. Send me details of the thought leaders to promote.
Name — @Handle TKk followers — Short bio with birthplace, life story and work, including hyperlinks. — Lives in COUNTRY — Fluent in LANGUAGES — website: TK — contact: email if can share.
Link to tweet or YouTube video with sample interview or speech
THOUGHT LEADERS WITH ROOTS IN IRAN
@AlinejadMasih with 530.8k followers. Born in Iran and living in the United States, Masih is a journalist and has led the campaign in the US to bring attention to the women’s rights movement in Iran. Fluent in English and Farsi.
@NazaninBoniadi — Iranian-born actress who grew up in London.
@EllieCohanim with 19.1k followers — Born in Iran, lives in the United States. Opposed to the nuclear Iran deal. Former deputy special envoy to combat antisemitism. First Iranian-born envoy at the US State Department. Host of “Global Perspectives” at Jewish News Syndicate.
@LisaDaftari with 60.4k followers — Lisa is a TV and radio commentator and podcast host. Analyst EIC @ForeignDeskNews.
@Golshifteh (512k followers)
An actress, Golshifteh Farahani has said, “Iran will be free.”
@RoyaTheWriter — Wrote Atlantic article
@Moradiannejad – Special documentary photographer and women’s rights activist. Cofounder and artistic director of @Roulah_org. Lives in North Vancouver, Canada. website: shaghayeghphotos.com
@Shaparakshjr — Author
Manda Zand Ervin
Protested in 1979 against Ayatollah Khomeini before leaving Iran with her daughter for a life in the US. She is the author of Ladies Secret Society. Lives in the United States.
@esmaeilion (287k followers)
Hamed Esmaeilion’s wife, Parisa Eghbalian, and nine-year-old daughter, Reera Esmaeilion, were killed on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, shot down by two surface-to-air missiles of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shortly after takeoff from Tehran to Kyiv on Jan. 8 2020. All 176 passengers and crew aboard were killed.
ALLIES WITH ROOTS IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Born in Somalia into a conservative Muslim family, Ayaan now lives in the US.
Yasmine (who uses a pen name) is an Egyptian-Canadian who is a leader in the ex-Muslim community, advocating for women’s rights in communities and Muslim-majority countries. She is the author of Unveiled. She wrote an op-Ed in Newsweek, supporting the women in Iran.
@AsraNomani with 80k followers — Born in India, Asra grew up in the United States, raised by socially conservative parents who engaged in critical thinking. They did not require she cover her hair, and she today advocates that a woman is not required to wear a headscarf in Islam. She is cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement and has been a longtime supporter of the human rights movement in Iran. contact: email@example.com
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