The June 2009 uprising following Iran's presidential election sparked the immediate scattering of its women's rights leaders across the globe. Activists living in exile took their activities online to pursue on-the-ground projects, initiating online campaigns and raising feminist awareness. Seven years later, this transition to cyberspace has had innumerable consequences for Iran's feminist movement. This article examines five Iranian rights-based platforms—Bidarzani, Women's Watch, Feminism Everyday, My Stealthy Freedom, and ZananTV—and their use of social media to vocalize and extend women's rights advocacy. Given the flourishing of cyberfeminist projects, it is worth investigating both the methodologies employed and the unforeseen constraints and costs that have emerged. For instance, do these undertakings challenge women's political and economic status in Iran? Is their activism a new and unique form of feminism? This paper explores their move online, tracing the shifts in Iran's women's rights movement, its current challenges, and its potential vulnerabilities.
Cyberfeminism, Iranian Style: Online Feminism in Post-2009 Iran
K. Soraya Batmanghelichi is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University, and an associate faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Since achieving her PhD in Middle Eastern studies from Columbia University, she has lectured at Leiden University in the Netherlands and at the W. E. B. DuBois Scholars Institute at Princeton University. Her research focuses on sexuality, contemporary women's movements, and gendered public space in the Middle East. She has been published in the Journal of Anthropology of the Middle East and Gender and Sexualities within Muslim Cultures.
Leila Mouri holds an MPhil in Middle Eastern studies from Columbia University and a master's degree in women's history from the University of London, Royal Holloway. Her studies focus on gender and sexuality in postrevolutionary Iran. In 2002 she joined Women in Iran, the first Iranian women's website. Since then, she has worked as a women's activist and journalist, writing extensively on women's sociopolitical status in Iran. An active member of various Iranian feminist and women's rights campaigns, she is a cofounder of Docademia, an educational service organization, and resides in New York, where she frequently updates her Persian-language blog femirani.com.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
K. Soraya Batmanghelichi, Leila Mouri; Cyberfeminism, Iranian Style: Online Feminism in Post-2009 Iran. Feminist Media Histories 1 January 2017; 3 (1): 50–80. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2017.3.1.50
Download citation file: