Iranian Women Denounce Violence In Film Industry

1649016642 Iranian women denounce violence in film industry News


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Tehran, Iran – Hundreds of women working in Iranian cinema have slammed “systematic” violence against women in the film industry and called for mechanisms that would make perpetrators and enablers accountable.

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In a strongly-worded statement on Friday, more than 200 women – including some of the most well-known Iranian actresses locally and internationally – condemned sexual violence and harassment, which they said has become endemic in Iranian cinema.

“Not only is there no mechanism to prevent powerful individuals from committing violence, there is also a non-written agreement that inflicting violence against women in work spaces has been normalised, with no serious ramifications threatening the aggressor,” they wrote.

Among the signatories are Taraneh Alidoosti – who had a leading role in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning The Salesman in 2016 – Hedieh Tehrani, Niki Karimi and Pouran Derakhshandeh, all household names in Iranian cinema.

Iranian women look at the showcase of a shop in Tehran
More than 200 women – including some of the best-known Iranian actresses locally and internationally – called out their experiences of sexual violence and harassment [File: Majid Asgaripour/WANA via Reuters]

The women also denounced financial inequality and disparity in decision-making powers with male peers, and demanded “this most basic human right, meaning working in a safe space away from bullying and violence and sexual extortion”.

They urged industry figures to mobilise through entities such as the Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds to form a female-majority committee consisting of people educated in dealing with sexual violence that would securely and privately receive and review claims of aggression.

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