UNPO, in collaboration with the Third Generation Project (TGP) and MSP Willie Rennie (Scottish Liberal Democrats), held a conference entitled ‘Sharing Perspectives on the Rights of the Unrepresented on the Eve of UNPO's XIII General Assembly’
Mona Silavi ,one of the founders of Napirasu (Voice of Ahwazi Women ) and spokeswoman of Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz (DASPA) delivered a speech in the panel titled “ being woman and from an unrepresented community and the importance of intersectionality of fight double discrimination” .
In her speech she highlighted the plight of women belonging to ethnic minorities in Iran .
According to Silavi "the necessity of gender equality is not even recognised in Iran , and the government does not eve believe in gender equality and all the criteria that result in shaping social injustice are justified by religious texts . Recognition is the first step , we have to recognise that there is problem first and then work on amending it . Rights of nations in Iran is not recognised the same way the rights of women in these communities are not recognised .
Women from minorities do not have the privilege of education in there own language , hence no access to higher education and consequently no possibility to compete in the job market . These women are not discriminated against only because they are women , their discrimination has another layer which is related to their ethnic or religious back ground and we can clearly see this phenomenon against religious minorities such as Bahaists or Sunnis and among all non-Persian ethnicities.
The other issue is the underdeveloped areas where these minorities live ,where schools are far from the place of residence and families tend to send their sons to school but not their daughters . In my community indigenous Arab women either work in farming or breeding animals and deliberate destruction of the environment , they lose their income and economic independency and are forced to become street vendors in the cities with an income that will not be enough to support herself .
In the media also Arab women are discriminated against and are portrayed as uneducated low class ,back warded with a a dark complexion as if dark skin is a negative trait , and the media never explained why these women are poor , or low class or backward, minorities are rather blamed for the condition they are in .”
This is the link to the video of the conference