Iran: Women's anti-Islamic fundamentalist radio observed on shortwave


BBC Monitoring observed a broadcast in Persian identifying as Radio Voice of Women [Radyo Seda-ye Zan] on 9495 kHz shortwave at 1900-1930 gmt on
6 November 2004.

The programme is produced by a US-based organization called Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in
Iran, which has a web site at http://www.wfafi.org. The home page has a link to the radio's web page at http://www.wfafi.org/radio.htm.

Most of the web site is in English, though details of the shortwave broadcast are given only in Persian. The schedule is stated to be 2230-2300
Tehran local time [1900-1930 gmt] every Saturday on 9495 kHz. Above this statement is a link to a downloadable mp3 audio file of the broadcast.

The web site carries the following mission statement: "The Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) is committed to promoting a greater awareness of the challenges women face living under fundamentalist regimes such as that of

"Our tasks range from raising public awareness, conducting research projects and initiating outreach programs - to policy discussions and analysis. We firmly believe the political presence, participation and leadership of women are instrumental to achieving social, political and economic equality." The "About Us" section of the web site further explains: "We are a group of individuals concerned with the growing threat of fundamentalism worldwide, particularly in
Iran. We submit to the definition of fundamentalism explained in the comparative study of religions, as embodiment of anti-modernist movements and backwardness in its host cultures.

"Our primary area of focus is the Islamic fundamentalism in
Iran that was established as a form of government in 1979. Having been suppressed or victimized by the abuse and misuse of religious authorities in Iran, many of us have been active over the past two decades in the areas of human rights, democracy and freedom for the Iranian people, women in particular.

"We believe the full participation of women in all levels of decision making will lead to desired social, political and economic equality. We reject all forms of fundamentalism and believe in religious pluralism and secularism. We believe in women's struggle in
Iran and support their desire to establish a secular and democratic government."

An announcement in English immediately prior to the Radio Voice of Women programme indicated that their transmitter airtime is brokered by Radio Miami International. The broadcast was preceded at 1800-1900 gmt by a Voice of America programme in Persian. Both transmissions are believed to emanate from a hired transmitter located in
Juelich, Germany.

Source: BBC Monitoring research in English 6 Nov 04