Leading Women of Iran

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Welcome to the lives of four leading women in Iran; great wives, passionate mothers and committed experts. They represent a rising population of professional Iranian women who have found their ways to high ranking positions. In this journey, Fatemeh Moghimi, executive director of an international shipping company, Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, deputy of urban planning of Tehran municipality, Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, university lecturer and pediatric pulmonologist and Marzieh Yadegari, shooting instructor and high ranking police officer share a day of their lives with us. The success stories of these women bring to light how they have managed to shoulder their responsibilities both at home and in the society. In today’s Iran, women are an inevitable part of the professional work force. They fill their homes with passion and have an insatiable desire to help their countrymen.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

Narration: This is Tehran. These are the women. Women mostly unknown to the western world, women with highest respect, women of ancient Persia Women of Iran,this is the story of four Iranian women and their struggle to change and challenge the western stereotypes, here we see life, we see eager and pride and we see leading women of Iran. Executive director of international shipping company since 1984, Fatemeh Moghimi is suggested to be one of richest and most successful people of Iran. Soheila Sadeghzadeh, deputy of urban planning and design of municipality of Tehran, is technical director of some of the biggest projects in the country. Dr. Ghamartaj Khanbabaee, top university lecturer Iran’s first woman to qualify as a pediatric pulmonologist, she has established country’s first research center for lung diseases in children. Marzieh Yadegari, a member of Iran’s national shooting team, a high-ranking police officer, all mothers, wives and loving teachers.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “Well, this is how I start my day, a very busy day, my husband and I normally leave the house together and talk on the way to work, that was the plan, today he had to rush out much earlier and I didn’t wake the children up, That’s why I didn’t invite you in and we couldn’t have a tea together, You’ll meet my husband at work he is already there”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “This one is too hot.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Mobin, Dr.Khanbabaei’s Son: “it’s actually very good.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “No son its extremely hot.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “Day for me starts with Mobin, this is school season and it’s important to wake him up early although I make sure he has enough sleep so he wakes up in a good mood when he wakes up, normally I prepare some snacks and we have some breakfast together, i also need to be on time for my own work.”

Narration: This is Mobin's father preparing breakfast,he is also a doctor and at the deputy of child health office in Iran.He, also needs to be on time

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “Okay let me change your trousers please.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Mobin, Dr.Khanbabaei’s Son: “No mum”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “You won't be allowed in school with this trouser darling, it’s too short.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Mobin, Dr.Khanbabaei’s Son: “No mum, why then I wear shorts for playing football?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “Well, that is for the pitch not for the classroom.”

Narration: Mobin is still not too sure of what to wear and this is frustrating for the Mum

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “We wake up early so we can pray and have a breakfast together; normally Shafaa needs to buy fresh bread in the morning because his dad believes we should all eat fresh food”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shafa, Soheila Sadegh Zadeh’s Son: “That’s why we normally don't have bread!!!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “This young handsome man here is my son, luckily we work not far from each other and we can go to work together.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shafa, Soheila Sadegh Zadeh’s Son: “We can't deny the problems, but what I see is a new stage in our social evolution we now need to get used to it. I think this new structure should be gradually accepted; from now on, the Iranian woman has a different stand in our society. We should forget the traditional woman of the past instead; we should have a more realistic expectation from woman because our society has changed.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari, Shooting Instructor, Police University:We wake up at five in the morning, I quickly make some tea and prepare the breakfast, then we have some breakfast together, we can’t have a complete breakfast just a quick one, we don’t have the time.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari’s Husband: “It’s important for my wife to be on time for the transportation service to her work. No, thanks, I had my tea, we need to be quick. As I was saying, I first take the child to her grandmother's; from there, I catch my work's transportation service. That leaves ten minutes in between. That means we have twenty minutes from now. In the afternoon, I will pick up my daughter on my way back home.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “So, you want to see everything I do today? Phone rings, here we go, the first call in the morning.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “Today I go home myself.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shafa, Soheila Sadegh Zadeh’s Son: “Do you have a meeting again?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “Yes, I will finish at 8 Pm; did you take your lunch?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shafa, Soheila Sadegh Zadeh’s Son: “Yes, dear, I took it”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “Bye then, take care”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shafa, Soheila Sadegh Zadeh’s Son: “You take care too, bye.”

Narration: This is one of the many parks in the center of capital Tehran; it is called Tehran Park,this place used to be a military camp, a few years ago one of councilors destroyed the camp and turned it into a green space, this park today is a great space for the local residents, specially the women, women who come to enjoy the facilities, there is a sport center specially for women. Soheila spends an hour every day exercising before going to work.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “She is our trainer in the gym; she is the one that gives us energy every morning. She has some special exercises that make us feel lively and great every day before going to work, Masoomeh, is an idol, she is an Iranian role model, a very active and energetic woman.”

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Sport Trainer: “Thanks, Actually ninety percent of the women who come to our classes are full of energy; they give me a lot of energy too. I take my energy from you ladies. I actually take more than I give. This is really a pleasure to be with you ladies; I really enjoy it. I feel great myself. Thanks.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “I finished my studies in civil engineering then I studied business administration but when I looked for work, there was none, so I started in transport industry, and I fell in love with it.”

Narration: This is where Fatemeh runs her transport business; the company has representatives in every corner of this planet, there are hundreds people and thousands of orders on trucks, ships, trains and airplanes managed from this building.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “I wanted you to see this, I love this space, take a look, this is the Iranian traditional architecture, I designed the building myself and my husband built it, we wanted to use it as our office and also because it was my father’s property we wanted the memories to stay with us.”

Narration: Her company is now over twenty years old. She was the first woman in Iran’s history to get permission to run a transport company, starting it first was a big challenge. She believes they refused her application because she was a woman.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “Toward the beginning of Islam, our prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him was married to Khadigeh who was a business woman, someone who had a transport company. I mentioned this when I was refused permission to set up my own company. I said: “I am not the first woman in transport, Khadijeh was the first”. Even being a financier is not prohibited; our Imams were all financiers so, our religion never objects work for women or women in business. The objection comes from the beliefs, principles and the nature of a society that needs changing and that takes time, you can easily change the dress code in a short time but to change people’s beliefs it may take generations. Most of our colleagues are out on duty trips to the banks and customs and only the office workers are in the building.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “I wanted to introduce my colleague here, Ms Sabahat, when did you start to work with us? She started as a receptionist and now is one of our successful managers. Here we have our marketing, goods, clearances and customer services team.”

Narration: Fatemeh seems to have a good relationship with her staff, she specially admires her husband, also a successful engineer for supporting her all the way in life, he was her boss when they first met, he is now a shareholder and the director of the company

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Mr. Salemi, Fatemeh Moghimi’s Husband: “We've done everything step by step together starting from our wedding ceremony.We have helped each other on the way.Many times,she was responsible for my company,and managed to over one numerous technical and administrative problems.But at home,it is a completely different story.Such a powerful and capable person in society turns into a capable characterwho is a fascinating mum and an Iranian role model for a woman.She does everything she can to provide comfort for her family.”

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “This is urban development and architecture deputy of Tehran and I am the head of the technical and administrative department, there are different departments here but let’s talk to the director first.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Director of Deputy at Tehran Municipality: “In general I trust women’s work more that I trust my own, I believe women are more sensitive and accurate in their work. Therefore, they make better experts and managers.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “In my final year at high school I had couple of friends who were architects, they encouraged me toward architecture and there was a design school right opposite to Tehran University. I registered my name so I could learn how to design. The quality of their work in that studio was so high that I instantly was in love with the job and I was dying to become an architect.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “I have a number of experts with me to visit one of our projects.These experts worked with me on this project for the last two to three years, and each one of them have been responsible for two to three smaller projects too and in fact they worked together very well as a team to finish each project.I give every engineer in our team a name depending on what project they work on,for example, I call Ms. Shabaani Ms district because she works on districts, or Mr. Sezar who helps us to make the videos I call Mr. Director, Azeri speakers are in majority among us, if I ask them to raise their hands? Azeri speakers hands up? Yes that is right; we have more women than men. We are going to visit the Chitgar lake area, Chitgar is an artificial lake one of the most important projects in Tehran. When they were planning it they thought it’s an important project for the city but I think it’s now going to be nationally and internationally important.”

Narration: Here the technical team meets the project managers; they talk about the progress made, this project is nearly finished. We asked about the influence of women on this project.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Engineer: “If it was only down to men to decide, then the style and accuracy you see and enjoy in this project might not be there. Men are ready to compromise; they might say it’s just a project like others but when you look at the usage, the surface occupancy and so on. Ms. Sadegh Zadeh stood strong and said "No". She said we need to allocate enough space for the visitors to enjoy walking around. One official who recently visited the site commented that, it is designed beautifully. The site can even attract migratory birds. What I want to say is that the cooperation of women with their sensitivity and men with their technical skills helped this project to become comprehensive. It’s not only the men who visit this lake, there will be families too.”

Narration: This Lake which measures130 hectares said to be the biggest artificial lake in the Middle East, it’s capable of boosting Iran’s tourism industry and improving quality of life for the local residents

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Hamekasi, Engineer: “I came across some interesting statistics that showed only five percent of city planners in the world are women. It's interesting to know that we are not actually doing bad in this regard in Iran. Our women and girls have a strong will to learn and work. I was reading the statistics with some friends and realized that Iranian women stand higher than the global average. I think the reason is that there are many good role models, For example, I have been working with Mrs. Sadegh Zadeh on different projects for five years. When I, as the second generation of female architects, see my manager, I see a platform; I see a position for me to take and to every go beyond.”

TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “I am a woman, a wife and a mother, on the other side it’s also my responsibility to educate the young generation of this country and I want to be perfect in doing all of that, I am the first woman in Iran to qualify as a pediatric pulmonologist, and for the first time we established a medical center and a research center for lung diseases in children, that was very difficult. We set up a special clinic for these patients, a clinic only for cystic fibrosis cases, no one else. They come and get medical treatment, get trained and leave, and luckily the outcome has been great. I also teach and teaching is very difficult job in every level. You need to work very hard to teach something to someone and I mean good training, because the feedback come back to ourselves, to all of us in society. When we are trying to train better doctors we would have better society, society’s health would improve, and its then easier to treat our patients. I work with children and it involves high risks and critical cases, diseases that seriously harm children’s lives. In this kind of situation I feel that mothers are more comfortable with me as a woman, because they feel that I am a mother myself. They see my sympathy toward their children. Two month after giving birth, I know the physical and mental conditions of the mothers and the stress and pressure parents are under, I know it all. I feel that mother is very comfortable to have a chat and I help them as much as I can, because I am also a woman and I try my best to help their problems and make it easier for them while they are our guests here.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “My husband always helped me, he has never given me any hassle, he tried to help as much as he could, he did not know how to help at the beginning but later on, when he realized that I could not do it all by myself he started to learn things. He now does the work like it’s his responsibility, the reason may be that we have different kinds of jobs his job is more managerial type and he has more free time but I spend many more hours outside the house”

Narration: What kind of things he does in the house?

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “He does everything a woman would do.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Dr Yamaani, Ghamartaj Khanbabaei’s Husband: “My colleagues at work know that my wife works long hours, they know that sometimes she leaves in the morning and comes home at night. They ask me how I deal with it. I answer, I cook and I wash and do everything that needs to be done when she is not at home. I really enjoy doing them. I did not know much about cooking, but now I am a good cook. I think if women try my food, they would also enjoy it. I have no fear of saying this because I can see how hard my wife works for the family, both at home and outside.”

TIME CODE: 25:00_30:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari, Shooting Instructor, Police University: Before I join the police force I was a shy person with no confidence, when my parents wanted me to go to parties I did not want to go, but when I started work, which wasn’t easy at beginning with all that new rules and customs that I was not familiar with, I realized how I have changed. I gained great confidence as well as passion and joy, at university having colleagues and teachers and all those happy times gave me the best four years of my life. We are teaching organization skills every week so that organizing for the people who want to be part of the police force becomes part of the characters and when they join the work or in life they can apply those skills perfectly.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari, Shooting Instructor, Police University: Bring up your guns and start targeting, and when ready start shooting. If you remember we need to focus on your static balance, correct your style, start targeting and check your visual elements and finally slowly draw the trigger.”

“The university has its own shooting tournament, after finishing our boys and girls compete to be able to get into the selected university team, we then send our representatives to compete in national and international first division contests, and this would be in or outside the Iran national federation. The selected members are professional shooters like Ms. Feyzi who complete shooting skills with special hat, cloths, shoes and weapons. I was introduced to the shooting sport while at the university, I was practicing on the course and I was competing for the university. In 2008 I was invited to join Iran’s national team, I competed for the national team for two years, It was a great experience, I was also competing for the university team at national and international competitions, until I had a baby, Its two years now that I have stopped my practice so my baby gets on her feet, Then I’m going to start again.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “I have written my staff birthdays in my calendar, it may look simple but if you remember your employee’s birthday and welcome it with a flower and greetings, you build a relationship that is different from work relations, its friendly and emotional.”

Narration: This is Iran’s chamber of industries and mines, Fatemah is the elected member and the chief of entrepreneur female affairs, when she joined this office, she realized the need to establish the trader female council, this is their weekly meeting,here people with ideas meet the big business leaders.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “I tried to make women aware that they are able and capable of doing things. I wanted them to know that the owe their ability to the society they live in, I tried to guide women by setting up workshops and classes and the result was really a success, If you compare the number of female traders of today with six years ago, you would see the intellectual growth especially in mining industry, business and trade, women should first believe in themselves, then they should learn ways of communication and negotiation, they should know their society, evaluate their new ideas, present the idea at the right time and turn it into action, these need training.”

TIME CODE: 30:00_35:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “Come on guys, Well done!

How beautiful!

I never thought I could come up here and see the square from this angel, when I was given this project I never thought we could apply the initial idea into action, giving the entire square to pedestrians, I was telling my consultants to limit the access to vehicles not to abandon it completely I could not see it possible, It’s now free from vehicles.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Engineer: “In this neighborhood, there used to be a traffic node with lots of visual disharmony caused by pedestrians and vehicles. This project turns this place into a much more suitable city space for the residents.”

Narration: Once again a corporation between men and women was nothing but success, a project that turned the iconic Imam Husein sq from this ... to this, a project that made Tehran and Soheila proud, today is the international world town planning day, planners from all ages are here to celebrate their achievement, one shot of the crowed and you will see the contribution women made.

Narration: Mobin is back from school, father now needs to feed him, entertain him and wait many more hours for the mum to come home,

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “When I am working I keep thinking about my son, he had gymnastics today, I ask myself questions like, did he take his cloths, did he go? What could I do for him, and I’m going through all that planning the night before, about his books, pencils, his cloths for skating or stuff swimming lessons, I want everything to be suitable.”

TIME CODE: 35:00_40:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Dr. Khanbabaei’s Son: “She is out many long hours, sometimes from morning till night; she is back at about nine or ten at night for example, it rarely happens that she stays at home; she’s out even at weekends. She has little time to spend with me.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “You asked a very difficult question, you are right, what is Mobin’s fault? What is my patient’s fault? The patients that their background illness would kill them, they would lose everything they have; I tried everything I could to prepare a good life for my son.

Could you give me the file number for the bed 2 please?

Salam, Hi, how are you?

Is it from yesterday? Okay then, I'll check it out.

I checked your patient’s condition. My colleagues also talked to me about it. I will visit your patient now.

Ms. Safavi is one of our good colleagues; she is the head of operating department, a very very well-organized nurse, a great planner and a great manager, In critical situations like operating rooms, it’s so vital to be organized, and I can say that if there wasn’t a woman in this position, this would be possible, very powerful manager, very precise and disciplined.”

Narration: Women are the subjects of conversations everywhere this is Iran-Russia chamber of commerce, these are the powerful people in business, Fatemeh is a member.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “There is this wrong view outside Iran that women in our country are in no position to decide and men are holding them back, if people like you and other colleagues who are within our society explain how helpful they are, it might help.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Head of Chamber of Commerce: “When female students constitute more than half of our university student’s population, it means that they are more talented. They're more perceptive, so it's their right to be there. The question of how and what position to take is a separate issue. Nonetheless women should be actively engaged in the society.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “As you saw in our meeting, you can see that it’s not only in the meeting of women that a common ground for conversation could be found. When I talk to my male colleague for example I always ask about his wife and children and somehow I connect our families together, this emotional connection helps us think better together.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari, Shooting Instructor, Police University: The first thing to do is to take out the magazine, to do this you push the lever and pull the magazine out, when the magazine is empty you check the safety lock again. If students want to shoot, they need to know the weapons, and all their parts, we teach our students how to use different weapons, weapons like Rpg-7, dragunov and 60mm mortar so they can use them on demand. This is the road to the university shooting range, everything our students learnt in the classroom they now put to practice using real weapons, today we are going to practice our combat situation using a MP5 weapon with real bullets.”

TIME CODE: 40:00_45:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari, Shooting Instructor, Police University: This is an assessment of what they have learnt and they are going to get grades at the end. If the spanner stopped you only need a strike toward inside and direct it straight in, Why? Because this arms the weapon and stops if from locking during operation, men and women are created differently, when women shoot for the first time they may have slight fear, that fear is more in women than men, Now if I was not a woman, I could never give my students proper support, there are times that students throw the gun away after the first shoot, It’s my job to go to her, hold her shoulders, talk to her and give her the support a woman need to combat fear, I then stay behind them and they slowly shoot one by one with my supervision, and believe me they would do great then, now a male officer could never offer the support I can offer and of course there is always need for women police officers, because there are always women criminals. As a shooting officer if I have no physical strength then the students who hold a gun in their hand surely have no faith in me and if they lose control then I could never help them, therefore my physical tolerance should always be higher than every single one of my students so I could lead and control them, this physical ability has always helped me, especially now that I have an infant who needs to be fed 7 to 8 time every night, I feed her then wait for her to sleep, this happens about 8 times from 10 at night till 5 in the morning when I need to go to work again and I can easily do that, if I didn’t have my trainings I could never do it.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “You have almost spend half a day with me, but this is not everything, the real work starts in the afternoon, there are times that I have to look after my home duties, sometimes like today in between my meetings I find a little bit of time to do my home shopping, Okay! Normally working mothers try to do more to satisfy children’s taste, I think it’s very important that mothers know what children love and prepare for it, I do my best but the rule is that children also should not be fussy about food because sometimes my schedule does not help and they need to be reasonable. I am not suppose to do the cooking, laundry, ironing and cleaning, one by one, my food is being cooked on the cooker while my washing machine is washing the cloths and during that, I am ironing the cloths left from the last wash, this is called time management. You are not suppose to stand next to cooker while the food is being cooked, I don’t want to undervalue the work women do at home, but the amount of work a housewife would do in 8 to 10 hours I can manage in that 3 to 4 hours on my return from work, without any problems, Its now more than 30 years that I am doing it.”

TIME CODE: 45:00_51:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “Finally finished, a 12 hours shift, I’m not sure what parts you’ve seen, but now let’s start the second shift, let’s go. I think workingwomen need to be very skilled; it’s not easy to satisfy people at work and make children and husband happy at home. We are left with a very little time to prepare the food and to do the housework, it’s my duty now to make sure the home situation is calm and hospitable for the people who also come from work, I now have about half an hour before they return, to make it easier I search and buy the equipment that helps me to be quicker. For example this rice cooker, has a timer, it cooks the rice and keeps it warm, so our rice is now ready.Luckily my husband and son are both very logical; they believe that every human being should have its own influence and impact on society. They have always encouraged me to be active, For example the day that I was offered to be the head of my department I asked for their advice, and they both were very encouraging.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari, Shooting Instructor, Police University: The first think I do on my return is to open the fridge and see if there are things left from the day before, the most difficult thing is to decide what to make for dinner, it normally takes fifteen minutes to choose the best option and I always have my cooking book in hand to get ideas, at six o’clock my husband picks up my daughter from my mum’s house on his return. I spend about an hour looking after my baby and prepare my cooking. While my husband takes a shower I prepare fruits and tea and we sit around relaxing together, watch a little bit of TV and wait for the dinner to get ready, to be able to wake up five o’clock in the morning we have to go to bed as early as ten at night. We've shared the responsibilities in a way that, the work pressure of outside would not harm our warm relations. We don't see our child for ten hours a day. We want her to come back to peace when she gets home.”

Narration: On this journey to the heart of Iran, every corner we looked we came up with so much passion for change, it’s a wonderful notion where everyone is trying for success, some were hopeful, they were encouraging others to break the restrictions, to go further.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Seyedeh Fatemeh Moghimi, Executive Director of International Transport Company: “I say there is no different between men and women, women showed us that they can work like men, so let s now allow them to compete on equal ground, only then you talk of who can and what position could they hold.”

Narration: Some were happy and proud of women, strong with tender hearts, they embraced men.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Marziyeh Yadegari, Shooting Instructor, Police University: To me this is admirable, women may be less visible in the house but this also needs a little bit more from men.”

Narration: Some welcomed the change, they prized men.

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Shahid Behshti University: “Our men’s culture are changing, they want their wives to be out and to work, to have a more dynamic mind.”

Narration: And some were looking to the future

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, Deputy of Urban Planning at Tehran Municipality: “I see a great future for our women, thanks to our leading role models who pave the way forward and to women themselves who worked harder with confidence to change the course of history.”

Narration: And yes behind every successful woman, this time,

There was a man.

   

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