Indian Feminists In Solidarity with Dr. Homa Hoodfar

This statement was sent to the Iranian authorities and the Iranian Embassy in Delhi yesterday.

Here is a link to one of Prof Hoodfar’s most influential essays, “The veil in their minds and on our heads.”


We, the undersigned, are in solidarity with Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian anthropologist of Iranian origin who has been imprisoned by the Iranian authorities on June 6, 2016. Dr. Hoodfar is a respected academic scholar and researcher on women and family in the Middle East and the Muslim world.  She travelled to Iran in March 2016 to visit family and for research on women’s participation in public life.

Prior to her arrest, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard interrogated Ms. Hoodfar repeatedly without the presence of a lawyer, searched and seized her belongings including passport, phone and laptop.  Ms. Hoodfar fully cooperated with the process and has been very respectful of the domestic Iranian judicial system.  Since her arrest however, her family, colleagues and supporters in Iran were left with no choice but to go public with the news of the arrest.

Iranian authorities have given no reason for the arrest and the charges under which she has been held.  She has not been granted access to her family or legal counsel.  Dr. Hoodfar, aged 65, is not in good health and has already suffered from a mild stroke in 2015.  Her family is concerned about her health and fears she may not have access to the specialized care that she requires.

We urge the Iranian government to:

  • Provide Dr Hoodfar immediate access to her family and lawyer;
  • Ensure Dr Hoodfar has the medicines she requires for her neurological illness, her condition is monitored and the report shared with her family;
  • Release Dr Hoodfar and return her passport and other essential documents so she can travel back to Canada to continue her treatment there and resume her academic work.

A. Mani

Abha Bhaiya

Albertina Almeida, Goa

Ammu Abraham

Anuradha Kapoor

Anuradha Pati

Aruna Burte

Ayesha Kidwai

Celin Thomas

Chayanika Shah

Chayya Datar

Dr. Mira Shiva

Dyuti Ailawadi

Gabriele Dietrich

Geeta Seshu

Geetanjali Joshua

Geetanjoli Gangoli

Hasina Khan

Indira Jaising

Jessica Mahadevan

Johanna Lokhande

Kalyani Menon-Sen


Kavitha Murlidharan

Kiran Shaheen

Lata P.M.

Mary E John

Mira Savara

Nalini Nayak

Nandita Shah

Nazia Akhtar

Neeraj Malik

Nevedita Menon

Nimisha Desai

Nivedita Menon

Nizara Hazarika

Pramada Menon

Prof. Saswati Ghosh, Kolkatta

Pushpa Achanta (Journalist, Bangalore)

Rajashri Dasgupta

Ramlath Kavil

Rohini Hensman

Roshmi Goswami

Sadhana Arya

Sagari R Ramdas

Saheli Women’s Resource Centre

Sakina Bohra

Sarojini N

Saumya Uma

Shahida Murtaza

Shalini Mahajan, Writer, Bombay

Sheetal Sharma

Shilpa Phadke

Shraddha Chickerur

Shreya Sangai

Shubha Chacko

Sujatha Gothoskar

Sumi Krishna

Suneeta Dhar

Supriya Madangarli

Swatija Manorama

Teena Gill

Uma Chakravarti

Urvashi Butalia

Vahida Nainar

Vani Subramaniam, Film Maker

Vibhuti Patel

Virginia Saldanha

Vrinda Grover







4 thoughts on “Indian Feminists In Solidarity with Dr. Homa Hoodfar”

  1. This is the danger when you mix religion with state. The religious vigilantism is also tiptoeing in India . It shouldn’t be pooh-poohed as just an election strategy. We are seeing it in the form of stridency of khaps, belligerent and regular statement of so called fringe leaders, and propagation of obscurantist ideas through education syllabus, so on and so forth.

    The worst victims of such vigilantism are always women and poor. We have seen that in our westward neighbours.

    The irony ( or design, maybe) is that one religious fundamentalism will never publicly oppose the religious fundamentalism of the other group.They will always exhort to oppose the religion and followers of the religion in general. And this is very important and quite obvious. It exposes their commonality in where they all wish us to lead to.

    This fundamentalism must be opposed. The care must however be taken that religious fundamentalism of all hues and colours must be opposed equally , for taking it on only one kind will weaken our stand as it will open to the charge of being biased. This mistake was committed in the past and therefore allowed such fundamentalist forces to take a high moral ground.


  2. Iran has a history of illegal detentions. The minority ahwazis are tortured and imprisoned for months. Dr. Hoodfar has been working on subjects the government dislikes. Hence, she has been detained and imprisoned. World feminists and all civil rights activists should express solidarity and see that the government releases her unharmed.


  3. Its a gross human rights violation not only hers but of entire humanity. Corrective action must be taken immediately.


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