The protests that have been sparked in Iran by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini, who was arrested by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, have posed a serious challenge to the political elite and leadership of Iran. Described as a feminist and intersectional movement, these protests have brought to the fore the questions of women’s rights and minority rights, bodily autonomy, freedom, and feminist struggles in Iran, but also beyond it. The speakers of this panel, which include Dr Anahita Arian, Dr Evaleila Pesaran, and Professor Cynthia Enloe, address the roots of the recent uprisings and explore their feminist and intersectional nature and whether they can be characterised as a feminist revolution. They further discuss how the protests affect the future of women’s rights activism in Iran and the Middle East and what this may hold, more broadly, for global feminism. In addition to this, the roundtable also assesses what challenges the Iranian feminist protests pose to the various governments in the region and what opportunities they may provide for the emergence of democracy, gender equality, peace, and security in Iran and across the region, next to the erosion of national (Iranian), regional, and/or global patriarchy.

Dr Anahita Arian – Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Geopolitics and a College Research Associate at King’s College, University of Cambridge

Dr Evaleila Pesaran – Fellow in Politics and International Relations, Director of Studies, and Race Equality Fellow all at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

Professor Cynthia Enloe – Research Professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment, with affiliations with Women’s and Gender Studies and Political Science, all at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts

Moderated by Dr William Figueroa  Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge