By staff contributor Milad Pournik
Amidst hope for a thaw in U.S.-Iranian relations, there have been several interesting developments for women in Iran in the past few weeks. In this blog post we highlight two news reports, two interviews (one with President Rouhani himself), and one article.
Meet Shirin Gerami, Iran’s first female triathlete - Saeed Kamali Dehghan – The Guardian – 9/15/2013
Shirin Gerami, a 24-year-old woman from Iran, has made history by becoming the country’s first female triathlete to have taken part in the sport’s world championship.
Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, greeted her achievement by tweeting: “Shirin Gerami,1st female triathlete to have participated in world championship wearing Iran’s colours #GenderEquality.”
“Triathlon … is still not very established in Iran; to date women do not participate in triathlons,” Gerami said.
“I wanted to share triathlon, and all the empowerment it has given me, with others and encourage others to experience and benefit from something that is dear to me.”
She insisted she wanted to tell “the other story of Iran”, that positive stories about her home country do exist.
Iran frees prominent rights lawyer Sotoudeh – Yeganeh Torbati – Reuters – 9/18/2013
Authorities, who transferred Sotoudeh from Tehran’s Evin jail on Wednesday evening to her home, gave no reason for the release and offered no details on who had ordered it, Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan told Reuters.
“They just told her: ‘You’re free, go’,” he said.
Arrested in September 2010, Sotoudeh was serving a six-year term for spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.
When asked if her release signaled a “new day” for Iran, Sotoudeh told CNN: “It is soon to say new day because we have many political prisoners in prison, but I hope this will be a new day.”