Iranian Women and the Politics of Diasporic Websites in the Digital Age

in Volume 11 (2016): Issue 2 (Dec 2016)

Iranian women in the diaspora have a long history of representing their experience of emigration and exile and of defining their identity and the status of women inside Iran. In the early 1990s, Internet access gave them more liberty of expression and enabled collaboration around women’s issues. This article seeks to answer the following research question: How do diasporic websites assist women’s rights activists in tackling women’s issues and supporting women’s status in Iran? It aims to explore online efforts of Iranian women’s rights activists in the diaspora and more importantly to investigate the functions of the Iranian diasporic websites addressing women’s issues in Iran. Through content analysis of ten diasporic websites, as well as interviews with women’s rights activists in the Iranian diaspora, this article argues that these websites have the potential to transfer information and make connections between those inside and outside Iran, addressing diasporic concerns and controversial issues.