the struggle for human rights in Iran
on Tehran Bureau
“The source of human rights is the endowment of qualities, virtues and powers which God has bestowed upon mankind without discrimination of sex, race, creed or nation. To fulfill the possibilities of this divine endowment is the purpose of human existence.
“Human rights can be established in terms of social status when members of the community realize that the gift of life and conscious being obligates them to meet responsibilities owed to God, to society and to self. Mutual recognition by members of the community of the truth that their lives emanate from one and the same universal Source enables them to maintain ordered relationships in a common social body.
“The social body does not create essential human rights. Its office is that of trustee under appointment to act for the community in the preservation of the relationships which represent the moral achievement of the members, and to cherish and protect that unity of spirit which is their highest mutual obligation.
“No social body, whatever its form, has power to maintain essential human rights for persons who have repudiated their moral obligation and abandoned the divine endowment distinguishing man from beast. Civil definitions of political and economic status, if devoid of moral value and influence, are not equivalent to essential human rights but express the expedients of partisan policy. An ordered society can only be maintained by moral beings.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb,
A Bahá’í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights
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In spite of all the persecution they’ve suffered, women continue to have an inherent resilience that’s of great importance to our sad, sick world.
Film is one of the most powerful creative arts. In this arena, we can see the same pattern of persecution followed by a rebounding strength:
From Wikipedia: Women’s cinema “Alice Guy-Blaché made the very first feature film La fée aux choux in 1896.”
From Traction: 2007 Celluloid Ceiling Report “Women accounted for 6% of directors in 2007, a decline of one percentage point since 2006. This figure is almost half the percentage of women directors working in 2000 when women accounted for 11% of all directors.”
From Women In The Director’s Chair: Film & Entertainment Industry Facts “There are 39 film festivals solely dedicated to showing the work of women directors throughout the world.”
I want to introduce you to two short films made by young women—resilient, potent, strong women.
As a man, I’ve learned to realize the critical importance of women, not just in film but in all walks of life, from being the first educators of children to being the leaders of a new culture of fairness and justice.
So, without further ado, Indymedia Presents, in cooperation with OurMedia and ReelGrrls, Two Films: one serious, one shocking.
“The progress of humanity depends on men and women working together; therefore, both must be equally developed. Women, given equal opportunities for education, have already proven to be the equals of men in intellectual and creative capacity. Men must encourage and facilitate the full development of women, as women must support men in their development towards this new condition of society.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Mar 15, Women and the Peace Process
Here’s the full document, written to the 37th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.