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Feminist Writings$

Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret A. Simons, and Marybeth Timmermann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039003

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039003.001.0001

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Press Conference of the International Committee for Women’s Rights

Press Conference of the International Committee for Women’s Rights

Chapter:
(p.268) Press Conference of the International Committee for Women’s Rights
Source:
Feminist Writings
Author(s):
Marybeth Timmermann
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039003.003.0040

Abstract and Keywords

Well! We have created the Comité international du droit des femmes [CIDF or International Committee for Women’s Rights] in response to calls from a large number of Iranian women, whose situation and revolt have greatly moved us. We have decided to create this committee with several tasks in mind. The first task: information. It is a matter of becoming informed about the situation of women across the world, a situation which, to a very, very large extent is extremely difficult, painful, and I will even say odious. Therefore, we wish to inform ourselves, in very precise cases, of this situation....

Well! We have created the Comité international du droit des femmes [CIDF or International Committee for Women’s Rights] in response to calls from a large number of Iranian women, whose situation and revolt have greatly moved us. We have decided to create this committee with several tasks in mind. The first task: information. It is a matter of becoming informed about the situation of women across the world, a situation which, to a very, very large extent is extremely difficult, painful, and I will even say odious. Therefore, we wish to inform ourselves, in very precise cases, of this situation.

We then wish to inform others of it; that is to say to communicate through articles the knowledge that we have gained. And finally, we wish to support the struggle of the women who fight against the situation affecting them. That is the general idea of the CIDF (ICWR).

And the first task assigned to us concerns a very, very burning case today. It is the task of informing, communicating our knowledge, and supporting the struggle of Iranian women. Because we have received a call [appel] from a very large number of them, and we have also seen, without even having a direct call, how they were struggling, how they were fighting, what they (p.269) were doing. We have appreciated the depth of the utter humiliation with which they are threatened, and we have therefore resolved to fight for them.

And so the first practical act that is going to concretize our call to action is a precise action: we are sending a delegation of women to Tehran, in order to inform themselves, essentially in order to inform themselves. We have sent a telegram to Mr. Bazargan,1 asking him if he will see us. I say we, although I personally, for health reasons, I am not going there. But I have many women friends who are going to go there on Monday. So we have asked that he receive us. If he does not answer, well! In that case we are going there anyway. But in that case, it will no longer be a dialogue with a head of state, but solely an information gathering effort. Unless they turn us away immediately, which is still very possible. It is very possible that the mission will fail, inasmuch as they might turn it away the moment it arrives. Nevertheless the die will have been cast, and it is important to show the demonstration of solidarity of a very large number of Western women, French women, Italian women, or others, with the struggle of Iranian women.

But I repeat that this matter is essentially an effort of gathering information, an information gathering mission in order to put ourselves in contact with Iranian women, in order to know their demands and the ways in which they plan to struggle.

Notes

“Discours d’introduction,” given at a press conference of the International Committee for Women’s Rights, March 15, 1979; © Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.

(1.) Mehdi Bazargan (1907–95) was an Islamic scholar and prodemocracy activist who served briefly as Prime Minister of Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Notes:

(1.) Mehdi Bazargan (1907–95) was an Islamic scholar and prodemocracy activist who served briefly as Prime Minister of Iran after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.