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PGN -Persian Speaking Gender Network
PGN NewLetter-No 2


Next PGN Harvard Roundtable

The fall has come and we are preparing for the next roundtable which promises to be very interesting. It will follow a workshop on leadership and advocacy tools with Dr. Marshall Ganz, a world renowned expert on leadership development, public policy advocacy and community organizing who teaches at Harvard Kennedy School. This will be followed by  the Gender and Economic Policy Research Analysis (GERPA) Conference. This has been an initiative between CAWTAR and the World Bank over the past 3 years to develop economic research. The GERPA conference will showcase some of the finished studies. We are hoping to have PGN member benefit from these two events as much as possible.

The preparation for this conference started in June. A call for submission of presentations was circulated. The purpose of the call was to find interesting pieces of ongoing research that could be showcased at the Roundtables.  We received 16 interesting research abstracts for only four slots. The PGN research committee made the final selections. .

Please let me take this opportunity to remind our members that we now have several publications compiled in our Google group list. This is mainly publications that may be of interest to our members but we want to increase the content and improve the quality of our data base. Please send me relevant links to important books, articles, policy papers as well as to calls for papers for conferences and links to organizations. These publications will be uploaded to our website.

We are in the process of establishing a grant proposal initiative to provide promising researchers with seed money for research on the three countries (subject to budgetary availability.) Your ideas and feed back would very important and we need them.

Roxana Bahramitash

In Other News:

Female Iranian Entrepreneurs Sign an agreement with the International Islamic University of Malaysia

The Women's Council director in the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Mines (TCCIM) stated that an agreement had been signed between female Iranian businesspersons and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).  Fatemeh Moqhimi was accompanied by a delegation to Malaysia consisting of some members of the Council. She stated that they signed a draft with the Council and IIUM aimed at advancing educational opportunities for women entrepreneurs.  "In consideration of the increasing number of Iranian students who go to Malaysia we deemed it suitable to create some facilities through the TCCIM for students and IIUM agreed to this," she said.

She stated that the details of these facilities will be announced later.


Roxana Bahramitash organized two panels, one during the Canadian Studies for International Development conference in Ottawa in May 2009 entitled Religion and Development in the Middle East and North Africa and was partly funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The other panel took place during the International Feminist Economics conference in Boston in June 2009 entitled Women’s Economic Empowerment: Challenges and Opportunities in Persian Speaking Communities.

Short News

In a recent article published in the New York Times, Hilary Clinton discussed what she describes as a trifecta of gender issues: stability, security, and equity issues.  The deep seated cultural resistance towards women's rights, particularly the lack of universal suffrage and literacy, is the final "discriminatory bar" to people's full participation in democratic government; however, political empowerment without economic empowerment has proven to be a non-starter across the globe.  Microenterprise and maternal health among others will be core foreign policy issues for the Obama administration, which will be pursued together with more strategic partnerships with countries such as Pakistan and India. [1]

PGN Members Activities

Pari Esfandiar, the editor of Irandokht, has interviewed Nadereh Chamlou

This year Djavad Salehi Isfahai is a Research Fellow at the Dubai Initiative, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His most recent publications are, "Poverty, Inequality, and Populist Politics in Iran,"  Journal of Economic Inequality, March 2009, 7(1): 5-24. Waiting: The Unfulfilled Promise of Young People in the Middle East, edited by Navtej Dhillon and Tarik Yousef.  Brookings Institution Press, 2009. “Looking Ahead: Making Markets and Institutions Work for Young People,” with Navtej Dhillon. “Beyond Statism:  Toward a New Social Contract for Iranian Youth,” with Daniel Egel..“Oil Wealth and Economic Growth in Iran,” in A. Gheisari (ed.), Contemporary Iran, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009.


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