Iranian women’s rights activist and ICAN MENA Director Sussan Tahmasebi shared her insights with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)’s Rochelle Jones about Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani, and what this could mean for Iranian women.

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According to Tahmasebi, the Iranian women’s movement in the context of this new political environment is meeting openly now and making their demands known. This is in contrast to a movement in the last four years of Ahmadinejad’s tenure that had more or less ceased public activity. “If they were active, they were not as vocal about it. The social space for activism was much more limited and there was great uncertainty about what would happen. Some of it was based on repression, some on the poor economic situation, and some of it on a general sense of hopelessness. I think [now] women’s movement activists expect to see a lot of the restrictions lifted in line with Rouhani’s promise to allow for civil society to operate freely”

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