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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com

IRANIAN WOMEN PROTESTING RTV'S ANTI-WOMEN PROGRAMMES

Published Sunday, May 2, 2004



A typical example of biased information and news analysis was the Organisation’s reporting on the Iraq war, repeating Iraqi propaganda and defending the hated regime of Saddam Hussein until the last minute, predicting a “disastrous defeat” for the Coalition forces.

TEHRAN 2 May. (IPS, with a report from Sima Sayyah of Payvand*) For the second straight week, Iranian women, led by the Women Cultural Centre (WCC) and several other women organisations and groups expressed “disgust and dismay” against the way the Voice and Visage (Radio and Television) of the Islamic Republic (VVIR) represents women and their role in society in its programmes.

On its last meeting held at the Tehran Press House, attended by a significant number of women, many of them young, representing a perfect cross section of Iranian women, organisers voiced their anger at the “degrading representation” of women on national TV, describing the programmes as “definitely an insult to both women and men”.

Placed under the direct control of Ayatolllah Ali Khameneh'i, the orthodox leader of the Islamic Republic, the VVIR are often denounced by the majority of Iranians, mostly the intellectuals, political dissidents, independent artists, scholars, journalists and minorities as biased, one sided and above all, playing up Islamic values against pre-Islamic Iranian civilisation and culture, reflecting the views of the minority conservative rulers.

A typical example of biased information and news analysis was the Organisation’s reporting on the Iraq war, repeating Iraqi propaganda and defending the hated regime of Saddam Hussein until the last minute, predicting a “disastrous defeat” for the Coalition forces.

IRANIAN WOMEN PROTESTING RTV'S ANTI-WOMEN PROGRAMMES-Body

Going hand in hand with the Judiciary and the secret services also under the control of Mr. Khameneh'i, the Radio and Television acts as an instrument of insults, humiliation and psychological torture against intellectual and political dissidents.

“Everyone in one way or another expressed their kind of horror of the fact that policy makers use this tool (public media) to suppress and hold back a whole nation, via this stupid and silly portrayal of women, who are generally represented as weak, silly, unable to think for themselves, useless without a man, and could possibly not have inspiration higher than having a man before marriage and then a child afterwards”, reported Ms Sima Sayyah for the US-based Iranian website Payvand who covered the meeting.

Some lecturers objected to the “unrealistic and non-artistic roles” that are shown in Iranian Television.

Going hand in hand with the Judiciary and the secret services also under the control of Mr. Khameneh'i, the Radio and Television acts as an instrument of insults, humiliation and psychological torture against intellectual and political dissidents.

“Yet this is not something new on our Television, nowhere can we see the real, active and positive roles that women have been playing, in all aspect of daily lives, in the past 25 years, in any of the TV programs. Television women characters have nothing in common with the real women in our society, in social, artistic, emotional, intellectual or even family aspects of life of the nation. This trend is a movement that reached a point and we have a duty to bring it out into the open”, she said.

"Some might wonder why we have gathered here, but their surprise is not why now but rather why not earlier?” another speaker noted, objecting to the “unrealistic portrayal” of the aspirations and thoughts of Iranian women, usually referred to as “Muslim women” on Iranian television.

Accoroing to most of programmes on Iranian Television and Radio, women’s only dream and hope is pleasing the man of their lives. If they cannot bear a child then they must be at fault, and must prove their love by not only agreeing but also participating in finding their husband another wife! These women, even if they hold a newspaper, they try to fill in the crosswords only, not interested in politics or other matters important to the society. They never have any serious discussion except gossiping or shopping, talking about frivolities of life.

IRANIAN WOMEN PROTESTING RTV'S ANTI-WOMEN PROGRAMMES-Body-2

All the speakers were aware that most people watch TV not only as their main source of information but also for entertainment. This powerful tool that indirectly teaches a particular kind of “moral education” can have devastating effect on minds of the most vulnerable members of the society, mainly children and the very young, protesters said.

“Iranian women of all walk and from all aspect of lives have the same agenda. They want to be taken seriously. They are well educated if not better than most men, and they want what is their right: a serious place in society which they have gained with hard work and dedication - what they need is representation of this achievement in our national television station”, another protester pointed out.

Observing indirectly but clearly that under Islam, women have very limited righs and are considered as second rate human being, the protesters warned the authorities that they would seriously challenge the state-run Radio and Television if it continues airing programmes that are insulting to Iranian women, including urging Iranians to shut their television set, stage sit-ins in front of the Organisation offices in Tehran and other cities. ENDS IRAN WOMEN PROTEST 2504

* The original article was published by Payvand.com and reproduced by Iran va Jahan.

 

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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com



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