Presidential aide calls on Iranian cineastes’ Me Too movement to consult on protective measures  

April 5, 2022 - 18:24

TEHRAN – Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Ensieh Khazali has invited the Me Too movement of female Iranian cineastes to a meeting to search for safeguards to protect them against their male colleagues’ misconduct and sexual harassment and abuse.

“The elevated status of women in cinema and their fine performance in the field necessitate safeguarding their great dignity,” Khazali wrote in her Instagram post published on Monday.

“The Office of the Vice President for Women and Family Affairs sees it as a necessity to lend a sympathetic ear to the demands of women in the Iranian cinema,” she added.

She invited members of the movement to attend a meeting, which will be organized by her office to negotiate settlements for the problem.

The Me Too movement of Iranian female cineastes has begun to form since last week after Somayyeh Mirshamsi, an assistant director, accused a renowned actor of misconduct and sexual harassment on a film project that was completed in 2021.

Afterward, a group of about 300 actresses and female filmmakers, including Taraneh Alidoosti, Narges Abyar, Hedyeh Tehrani and Niki Karimi, signed a statement condemning any forms of misconduct, violence, sexual harassment, bullying and rape in the workplace and asking for prosecution of the perpetrators.

Deputy Head of the Iranian Judiciary and Secretary of the High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi also offered words of support.

“Due to their susceptibility, the women active in the art fields, especially those who are working in cinema, must be supported and protected,” he said in a press release published by his office last Saturday.

He asked the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and film unions to adopt regulations to help protect women working in cinema.

In a statement published on Monday, the Iranian House of Cinema, which is also known as the Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds, also said, “The house condemns any probable violence, especially sexual violence in its various forms in the art and cultural activities.”

The center also said that it is ready to offer “legal consultations” to the victims of the Iranian Me Too movement.

A number of male Iranian cineastes, including actors Reza Kainian and Babak Karimi, have also expressed their solidarity with the signatories of the women cineastes’ statement against male filmmakers’ misconduct and sexual harassment and abuse.   

Photo: Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Ensieh Khazali.

MMS/YAW

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