by Chris Bodenner

Robert Dreyfus reports from a panel on Iranian women and the recent upheaval:

So strong is the women's movement that a web site linked to Iran's intelligence ministry has begun referring to "woman commandos" in describing post-election protests [...] Tohidi said women in Iran had been engaged in many years of quiet educational and organizational work, especially over the past fifteen years, and today the women's movement in Iran is the "strongest in the Middle East." [...]

Jaleh Lackner-Gohari added that during the 1980s and 1990s, many women went into higher education and the professions precisely because they were barred from politics and, she joked, "had nothing better to do." Quietly, they built networks, professional organizations, and channels for communications -- including, lately, blogs.