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Leila Mouri
Leila Mouri holds an MPhill from the department of Middle East, South Asia and Africa Studies at Columbia University. Her studies focus on gender and sexuality in post-revolutionary Iran.

She was born and raised in Iran, where she achieved a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Tehran. She also worked as a researcher in the Iranian National Youth Organization and Parliament Research Center.

In 2002, she joined the first Iranian women’s website, called Women in Iran, and through that website she began her activism. Since then she has worked as a women’s activist and journalist, and she has written numerous articles on the social and political rights of women in Iran. She has been an active member in various feminist and women’s rights campaigns in Iran, such as the Stop Stoning campaign and Iranian women’s right to attend sports events. She also directed projects pertaining to women’s empowerment.

Upon receiving the British Chevening scholarship, she moved to the U.K. in 2006 to earn her M.A. in Women’s History at the University of London, Royal Holloway.

She now resided in New York. Since 2005, she has written in her Persian-language blog,

Entries by Leila Mouri

Who Decides For Women's Reproductive Rights?

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 1:34 PM

In a matter of one week in the U.S. and Iran, authorities have made decisions that restrain women's right to control their bodies. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted in favor of permitting family companies to deny employees insurance coverage for contraception in the name of religious freedom. Whereas,...

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My Share, Half of Azadi: Let Iranian Women Go to Stadium

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 12:40 PM

Iran-Brazil volleyball matches, part of FIVB Volleyball World League, held on June 13 and 16 in Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran. In both games, Iranian women were absent in the audience while a few of them, holding national flag, had gathered outside the complex hoping to receive permission...

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Iranian Female Athletes Find Their Way

(3) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 12:20 PM

At this summer's London paralympics, Iran's Zahra Nemati won an archery gold, becoming the first Iranian woman to win a gold medal at any Olympic Games. In an interview with the Tehran Times, Nemati said that the lack of facilities did not (and does not) prevent...

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Compulsory Hijab in Iran: There Is No Room for Appeasement

(56) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 12:40 PM

As the 1979 revolution was reaching a climax, for those who were euphoric over its possible triumph, few had imagined worrying about Ayatollah Khomeini's implementation of compulsory hijab. "Bringing down the tyrant!," they chanted. This was the rallying cry from a wide spectrum of Iranian citizens.

It is commonly assumed...

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Women's Bodies Are Still the Subject of Dispute

(29) Comments | Posted January 19, 2012 | 12:34 PM

The Iranian actress Goshifteh Farahani has recently posed naked in a French short film alongside a few up-and-coming French artists. In the film, Corps et Âmes (Body and Soul), the actors undressed as a symbol of emancipation from social restrictions. Screenshots from the film were also published on Madame website...

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Circumstance Movie Is Not the Revolutionary Portrayal of Iranian Sexual Minorities It Thinks It Is

(1) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 1:05 PM

"I'll be the manager and you'll be the dancer."

This is the first sentence one hears in Circumstance, directed by Maryam Keshavarz.

Those who've watched pre-revolutionary Iranian film-farsi* are familiar with the shabby plot: a brutal, sexist and corrupted cabaret manager exploits and abuses her female dancer, and the...

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