Kurd Men for Equality campaign recalled in Gender Justice Awards

KT News:Kurdish man and woman

Almost a year after the innovative Kurd Men for Equality campaign, the infamous ruling of a judge in East Kurdistan/Iran has been nominated for a negative ‘Bludgeon Award’ in the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards.

The Awards organisers explain why:

“On April 15, 2013, the Marivan County Court Presiding Judge sentenced a Kurdish man charged with disorderly conduct to be driven around in the back of a pickup truck wearing a red chador (the traditional dress of Kurdish women) as a form of humiliation.

“The judge’s ruling was blasted as misogynist and discriminatory, an affront to women and to Kurdish culture. It led to a major protest by the Kurdish community of Marivan that went viral on the internet (Kurd Men for Equality), in which men and women have their pictures taken dressed in the traditional garb of the opposite sex, with the slogan “Being a woman is not a tool to humiliate or punish anyone.

“The campaign got so much attention that 17 members of the Iranian Parliament wrote to the Minister of Justice denouncing the sentence as ‘humiliating to women’.”

The Gender Justice Awards were “created by the organization Women’s Link Worldwide to recognize that the comments made by judges and the courts have a strong influence on the sense of justice and the daily life of all people in countries across the world, whatever their political system or religious traditions and beliefs”, explains coordinator  Teresa Fernández-Paredes. “The Awards are divided in two classes: one positive and the other negative. The Gavel Awards are allocated to judicial decisions that promote gender equality. It is a favorable Award. And the Bludgeon Awards are allocated to judicial decisions that are retrograde and discriminatory. It is a negative award”.

The Kurd Men for Equality campaign was promoted on KT at the time in a widely-circulated article by Dilar Dirik.

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