WOMEN AND ISLAMIC AWAKENING AND NEWS COVERAGE
“Women and Islamic Awakening” organized by the World Assembly of the Islamic Awakening was the fourth conference since the movements began in January 2011. The event was held at auditorium of Tehran’s Milad Tower with participation of 1500 elite women from 180 countries from Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Azerbaijan Republic and Iraq, Turkey, etc. who elaborated on their perspectives about the movements of The Middle East region and Islamic awakening.
The conference received little or no attention from major western news agency such as BBC, CNN and even reputable Middle Eastern news channels like Aljazeera. Non-western news outlet like that of Lebanon, Turkey, and Pakistancovered the conference to some extent.
While the conference was not covered extensively by the Western media but the supreme leader’s remarks in a speech to women participants of the conference received a wide coverage in different news outlets. Ayatollah Khamenei said that “the international conference provided an opportunity for getting acquainted with women in the Muslim World, adding that the acquaintance of women with one another in the course of the conference would pave the way for an effective and lasting movement in reviving the identity and character of Muslim women worldwide”. Foreign press though were more interested in what Iran’s supreme leader said about the effect of sanctions on Iran; “Daily Times”, a Pakistani press reported According to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei Iran is 100 times strongertoday than 30 years ago despite the multitude of Western sanctions imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution.‘Pakistan Today’ in its report said that Supreme Leader has said Iran 'has resisted all sanctions and is now 100 times stronger than 30 years ago. France 24 also reported on Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech for women who had come to visit him quoting: “Westerners are making much hype about sanctions against Iran but they don't understand that they have vaccinated the Iranian people themselves by imposing sanctions over the past 30 years”. Russia Today,Ahram and Associated Pressalso quoted from the Supreme Leader that sanctions have had no effect on Iran.
ZohrehElahian a parliament member for Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy had predicted that the conference would be boycotted by the Western media outlets due to their biased approach toward Iran. While usually even minor activities of Iranian women that are interpreted by the Western media as a kind of defiance toward the Islamic Republic receives widespread news coverage and propaganda in the Western media, but significant events that may give a positive image of Iran with regard to women is deliberately ignored.