- Zanan-e Emrooz
Zanan-e Emrooz (Women Today) is a monthly magazine launched in Tehran in 2014 that at this writing has published eleven issues (fig. 1). The magazine, which is published in print and online (zananemrooz.com/fa), is the leading voice on women’s issues in the country. I had previously published Zanan magazine for sixteen years until it was shut down and its license revoked by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government seven years ago. Our circulation is ten thousand print magazines. Calculating subscribers to the print magazine, online readers, and sharing of the print magazine, we have around fifty thousand readers. Our readers are from all over Iran, although the majority live in Tehran; we also have readers outside Iran. The number of print magazines we distribute in Tehran equals the number we distribute in all other provinces. Most of our readers are students or college educated, and a quarter are men.
We have five supervising editors, each with relevant expertise and experiences. Each editor relies on a team of experts, with whom they consult for the issues, interviews, and essays. We also publish solicited and selected unsolicited writings by reporters, writers, and scholars. We have three copy editors, a public relations and subscriptions administrator, an information technology expert, an art director, two page designers, and a photo editor. Overall we have fifteen permanent staff and about forty regular contributors.
The editorial board and I carefully monitor issues and events pertaining to women in Iran and across the world by reading news networks and social media, such as Facebook and WhatsApp. When we come across an issue or subject that we deem important, we immediately contact each other and start planning, even after midnight. Moreover, our working groups regularly discuss and prioritize issues and create short-term and long-term plans for tackling them. Because of redlines, we cannot publicly tackle some matters, but we discuss them, as an opportunity to address a previously forbidden issue may arise. We need to be ready to grasp such opportunities. [End Page 376]
We focus mainly on issues and problems pertaining to women inside and outside Iran as far as time and resources permit. The magazine consists of sections on society, art, literature, theoretical discussions, mind and body (psychology, lifestyle, health and medicine), recently published books, and daily news. The objectives are to make the government and women aware of and sensitive to gender discrimination (tabʿiz-e jensiyati) and to empower women to use the best means available to rid themselves of submission and abuse despite obstacles.
Click for larger view
View full resolution
Topics on our agenda for the next three issues are women’s bodies and sexual violence against young girls, women and consumerism, and women in middle management. These issues are important not only in Iran but in other countries as well. Regarding sexual abuse of girls, many parents are unaware of such issues, and children do not know their bodies. Children are not instructed in how to protect themselves and summon the courage to report such abuses, especially when male members of their families are the abusers. The other problem, of course, is that the law does not effectively deal with abusers and does not provide sufficient protection for the abused. Regarding consumerism, a large portion of the female population is homebound due to a lack of opportunities and resources, and these women are easily influenced by marketing strategies and advertisements of colorful commodities. No longer encouraged to use their skills and capabilities, they become anxious, disillusioned, and confused individuals who turn to shopping as a cure. Regarding women and management, we have had only one female minister in Iran since 1979. Opponents argue that women lack sufficient experience, but women are not allowed to gain that experience. We think that it is very important for women to find their way into middle management, gain experience, and demonstrate to opponents the inaccuracy of their claims that [End Page 377] women cannot be effective ministers, diplomats...