Institutional Affiliation :
Poet, Writer and Commentator
Partow Nooriala is an Iranian poet, writer, and literary critic, currently living in the USA. She holds a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Social Work Management from the University of Tehran. Her first book of poetry, A Share of the Years, was printed and ready for distribution in Iran in 1972, when it was banned by the Pahlavi regime. The ban was finally lifted during the 1979 Revolution. She moved to the United States with her two children in 1986. She has published four poetry collections in Persian, a selection of poems in Persian and English, two volumes of reviews and literary criticism, a play, and a collection of short stories in Persian. She is mentioned in the International Who’s Who In Poetry and Poet’s Encyclopedia, Tenth Edition (2001/2002). Ms. Nooriala is also the author of numerous critical pieces on the role of Iranian women in art, literature and film. She was awarded the Best Critical Review prize by the Swedish publisher, Baran in 1996, and regularly appears on panels, guest lectures, conferences, and –as a cultural commentator—on TV and radio programs in the USA and Canada. Among her major publications are the following titles: Art and Awareness: A Collection of Literary Reviews, Sinbad Publications, Los Angeles, 2006. Four Springs, Selected poems in Persian and English, Sinbad Publications, Los Angeles 2005. With Chained Hands in the House of Fortune: A Collection of Poems, Sinbad Publications, Los Angeles, 2004. Mihan’s Future: A Play, Los Angeles, Sinbad Publications, 2004. Like Me: A Collection of Short Stories, Los Angeles, Pars publications, 2003. My Earth Altered: A Collection of Poems, Tassvir-Zamaneh Publications, Los Angeles, 1993. Two Critics: A Literary Review, Aghah publications, Iran-Tehran 1987. From the Eyes of the Wind: A Collection of Poems, Andisheh publications, Los Angeles, 1987. A Share of the Years, A collection of poems, Ghoghnoos Publications, Iran- Tehran, 1978
Iranian women, especially those who organized the movement “One Million Signatures” and campaigned hard to promote gender equality and the repeal of discriminatory gender and family laws, played a major role in the mobilization of public opinion, and in bringing out the vote of women and young people during the presidential elections of 2009. The brazen rigging of the elections, and the angry protests of millions over the fraudulent election results, which brought the Iranian people in open confrontation with the regime, presented women activists with a new dilemma: Should they continue prioritizing women’s issues, or should they join forces with the popular Green Movement.
Given the fact that the leaders of the Green Movement have called for a return to the beginnings, for preservation of the socio-political order established 30 years ago, and of the Constitution which, at source, limits women’s rights, I was one of those who advocated the preservation of the autonomy of the women’s movement. It was my conviction that women should continue their struggle alongside, rather than within, the Green Movement.
Regrettably, we are all witnesses to the fragmentation of the women’s movement and the erosion of the campaign for women’s rights, due, partially, to the diversity of political proclivities within the women’s camp, but also—to a great extend—to the insistence of the leaders of the Green Movement that no fundamental changes be brought to bear on the existing societal structures (of any and every kind).
Given the importance of women’s activism from the time of the Constitutional Revolution to the present, and the lack of success—so far—in establishing gender equality as a comprehensive, undisputed and enduring principle of the Iranian judicial system and society, it is my conviction that the autonomy of the women’s movement is essential not only for the attainment of women’s rights, but for the health of the Iranian body politic as a whole