Based on work by Fuuse called sister-hood, I recently came across someone whom I did not know about before, and will never know in person or in correspondence – to my detriment – named Sediqeh Dowlatabadi, who was born in 1882 in Estafan.
She is described as the founding mother of Iranian feminism and one of the pioneering figures in the Persian women’s movement.
But this does not limit taking in the data with a critical eye and sympathetic heart. And hey, it’s the way to go. Her heritage was an “old and respected family” in the area. While studying in Tehran, she married at age 15, while divorcing shortly after.
Age 35, she created the “first girl’s schools and women’s organisation.” However, the school was attacked – by Conservative clerics – in addition to Sediqeh being beaten by them. 2 years later, so age 37, she founded “The Woman’s Voice” – or Zaban-e Zanan – in Esfahan.
The publication was banned by the authorities in Iran. It only accepted submissions from women and girls. With the closing of the magazine, she worked to fight the British influence on Iranian politics as well as continued the campaign for women’s rights.
Come 1926, she went to Paris’s Sorbonne University and earned a degree in education. In sister-hood it reads, “1926, she served as the representative for Iran at the tenth congress of the International Alliance for Women’s Suffrage.”
She became the supervisor of Women’s Education in 1928, when she returned to it – as well as the director of the Inspectorate of Women’s Schools.
Also, she was crucial to women’s suffrage, according to the profile. That is, Dowlatabadi “persuaded Mohammad Mossadeq to grant women the vote; but due to the British/American sponsored coup, this never came to pass. In 1962, Sediqua died, at 80 years of age.”
In her will, it said: “I will never forgive women who visit my grave veiled.”