From Marxist Organizations to Feminism Iranian Women s Experiences of Revolution and Exile

Halleh Ghorashi


Iranian women were extremely active during the revolution of 1979. They were or became active within various political organizations and fought for democracy and freedom. The focus of this paper is on the activities of a group of Iranian women leftists within Marxist organizations in Iran and their experiences in exile. These political activists had to leave Iran when it became a crime to be a Marxist. During their activities in Iran, their Marxist convictions limited the ways in which they dealt with issues such as gender, sexuality, and women s rights. However the fact that they became so active made them potentially aware of their rights as women. It was later when this potential knowledge became manifest. These women who initially underestimated women s questions and suppressed their womanhood in the framework of Marxist ideology, became strong advocates of women s rights and serious contributors in the women s movement when they were in exile.


Iranian revolution, women, exile, Marxism, political activism, gender, sexuality, feminism

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