Why were young women poisoned in Iran?

Iran has arrested over 100 suspects in connection with the alleged poison attacks against hundreds of schoolgirls across the country. CERL Affiliated Faculty Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet explains how women’s liberties remain “fragile and precarious” under the  patriarchal rule of the Islamic Republic. According to Prof. Kashani-Sabet, 

“At a time when women’s liberties have receded throughout the world, including in neighboring Afghanistan, activists and politicians must redouble their efforts to expose the shortsightedness of anti-women and anti-gender polices. We have to do our part as Iranian students risk their precious lives to push back against intolerance.”

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar. She completed her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in history at Yale University. Her book, Frontier Fictions: Shaping the Iranian Nation, 1804-1946 (Princeton University Press, 1999) analyzes the significance of land and border disputes to the process of identity and nation formation, as well as to cultural production, in Iran and its borderlands. It pays specific attention to Iran’s shared boundaries with the Ottoman Empire (later Iraq and Turkey), Central Asia, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf region. Her book was translated into Persian by Kitabsara Press, Tehran, Iran and has been released in paperback by Princeton in 2011. The Turkish translation of this book was published by Istanbul Bilgi University Press: Read her bio here.

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Why were young women poisoned in Iran?