Iranian immigrant women living in Sweden are performing on a Stockholm stage, a drama illustrating how young Iranian female university students in Tehran are harassed by uneducated, fanatically religious moral-watchdog women -- accusing the students of possessing such dangerous weapons as mobile telephones or boy friends -- and plotting against the mullahs and the regime.
Interrogation on the streets and detention for improper clothing not fully covering the woman's head or hair, violence and even murder for those women defying the man's world or strict regulations and rules for female family members. Bodies dumped on the streets of the big cities and smaller towns. Seen as a strong force in supporting the sexual apartheid oppressing women: religious fundamentalists of all faiths.
Mahin Alipour: My name is Mahin Alipour and I am responsible for the organization "Equal Rights Now" and a small organization in Sweden that is called "One Company for the Difference of Women's Rights". We want to show the people today that there is one very radical and modern women's movement in Iran that fights sexual apartheid in Iran. Because after the 30 years that they (i.e. the Mullahs) were in power in Iran, we must do something. We think that the governments here in Europe or elsewhere do not bother. They often meet Iranian representatives and they do some kind of business or politics with them. That is wrong because that regime is responsible and the representative of sexual apartheid in Iran.
A special declaration for women's day - what does it say?
Anki Elken: "My name is Anki Elken and I am an alternate in the Swedish parliament for the Center Party. I believe it is very important that we show good examples and don't trade to the extent as of today with those countries that are dictatorships. So, I think you can't condemn activities breaking human rights and on the other hand make business deals and take pictures with smiling dictators."
Earlier some women were a bit afraid of working together with immigrants and refugees.
Mahin Alipour: Yes, in the beginning, when we wanted to speak about our rights and our problems, they didn't want to listen and said *that is your problem. But they listen now. And I think the solidarity is very, very good. We have hope to gather such solidarity between the people.Listen to the report:
Russia is about to enter a new political era with last weekend’s presidential election. Or is it? President Putin is stepping down after serving two terms in office, as dictated by the Russian constitution and Dmitry Medvedev is taking over. Mr Medvedev has been plucked from relative obscurity to continue the path taken by his mentor, Vladimir Putin. However Mr Putin isn’t planning on retiring anytime soon – it’s expected that he’ll stay on as Prime Minister, raising fundamental questions about who will really be in charge of Russia. Emma Simpson has more from Moscow.
This weekend people in France are going to the polls to vote for their local governments: mayors, regional and local governing councils. Mayors and local governments are the first point of call for the problems and daily concerns of French citizens. But these elections are also seen as a referendum on the national government: the results of the president's party will reflect what people think of him. Calais, in the north of France, is one of the last Communist party strongholds in the country. The opposition has put together an unconventional campaign to try to oust the mayor. Radio France International's Sarah Elzas has this report from Calais.
9 months after general elections Belgians finally look set for a new Prime Minister. The political stalemate - which was the longest in Belgian history - raised the prospect of a split between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemings. Last week Walloon and Flemish politicians finally broke the d eadlock after agreeing on the first steps to reform the country. The deal paves the way for a new government to be formed by Easter -- with Yves Leterme, leader of the Flemish Christian Democrats, taking over from interim prime minister Guy Verhofstadt. But is the Belgian political crisis now really resolved? My colleague Vanessa Moch from Radio Netherlands put that quesion to the former Belgian Prime Minister Mark Eyskens.
Thirty years ago Vladimir Remek became the first man in space who was not from either the United States or the Soviet Union. After taking part in the eight-day Soviet space mission in March 1978 Remek became a hero not only in his native Czechoslovakia but right throughout the East Bloc. Radio Prague’s Ian Willoughby spoke to the former cosmonaut about that historic flight – and the propaganda that came with it.
Rome wasn't built in a day and seeing it in 24 hours is nearly impossible…unless you run. Well, lace up your sneakers and run, tourist, run. Guides from a company called Sightjogging will provide you with a tour that’s sprinkled with sweat and historical details. The tours are attracting fitness friends while baffling Romans who prefer a slower-paced life. Our reporter Nancy Greenleese went the extra mile to bring us this story.
This month we want you to identify a French film director, writer and producer who's celebrating his birthday on March 18th. He was born in Paris to parents who were both scuba diving instructors and this very much influenced his childhood. He long thought about becoming a marine biologist, but then discovered film. Over the coming three weeks we’ll give you a different clue as to his identity. Here’s the first one – it’s the opening scene from one of his earlier films.
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