“Permitted / forbidden” was the title of the seminar organized in Malmoe, Sweden at the 28th of October 2013 by Feminist Dialog in which Hoda Aminian, a women’s rights activist and co-founder of the non-profit organization (NPO) Bahamestan, explained Right to the City for the women in Iran.
In the first part of the seminar, Hoda Aminian talked about the definition of Right to the City and the various obstacles women face to the full and complete usage of urban public spaces in Iran.
Within this frame work she pointed out the three major categories of the women’s difficulties in the city and then resumed and explained the categories.
The examined and explained categories of Right to the City are:
- design of urban spaces and urban planning in Iran which is not women friendly
- social and cultural factors
- dress and behavior codes
In the second part of the seminar, Hoda Aminian talked about the NPO, Bahamestan which has been working since last year on Right to the City for citizens.
The NPO Bahamestan focuses specially on marginalized groups and vulnerable citizens such as women, children, refugees, seniors, the disabled, etc. in Tehran, Iran.
Hoda Aminian also illustrated their work in Bahamestan through the three fundamental aims of the NPO:
a) Informing marginalized citizens’ right to the city
b) Advocating the marginalized citizens’ right in the negotiation process with planning structures
c) Mobilizing direct actions among marginalized citizens to face planning power structures
Finally, Hoda Aminian talked about the projects and events they have completed in their first year of activities and how they have targeted the most marginalized groups and the most neglected parts of the city.
The aim has always been to fulfill all three predefined roles of planning activities by the activists. This is done mostly by launching the “Better Block Project”
(called Kucheye Behtar in Persian) and introducing a national day as
“safe city for children day” to tribute the 11th anniversary of the tragedy that occurred in Tehran where six elementary school children drowned in the City park at front of the city hall.