A Women for All Seasons : Farokhroo Pārsā (1922-1980)


A Women for All Seasons : Farokhroo Pārsā (1922-1980)
by Darius Kadivar

"I am a doctor, so I have no fear of death. Death is only a moment and no more. I am prepared to receive death with open arms rather than live in shame by being forced to be veiled. I am not going to bow to those who expect me to express regret for fifty years of my efforts for equality between men and women. I am not prepared to wear the chador and step back in history." - last letter Dr. Farrokhroo Parsa wrote to her children from her jail cell. 

Farokhroo Pārsā, (1922-1980) (Persian: فرخ‌رو پارسا) was an Iranian physician, educator and parliamentarian. She served as Minister of Education of Iran during the Pahlavi Dynasty  and was the first female cabinet minister of an Iranian government.

Pārsā was an outspoken supporter of women's rights in Iran, and was executed by firing squad on 8 May 1980 on religious-revolutionary charges stemming from this position. Amongst the myriad of unjust accusations filed against Dr. Parsa by the hateful mullahs was her alleged encouragement towards the Iranian female athletes to wear shorts. Before the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, Dr. Parsa was the Minister of Education. On May 8, 1980, she was executed after a mockery of a trial by the Islamic Revolutionary Court . The official reason for her execution was: "spreading vice on Earth and fighting God".

More Complete Biography Here

Book published by MehrIran Publishing Co. Available for Purchase at Authors Site:

Lady Minister: Farokhrou Parsay Daughter of Freedom A Biography and Memoir by Mansoureh Pirnia

Promotional Clip of Biography by Mansoureh Pirnia (includes comments by Farah Pahlavi former Shahbanou of Iran who was also a fellow Student of Dr. Parsa before becoming Queen Of Iran )  :





Women Right's a 100 Years Struggle 





Promotional Film commissioned by Iran's Minister of State for Women's Affairs to showcase the various organizations dedicated to defending Iranian Women's status and demands in society during the Pahlavi Dynasty: 

An overview of the evolution of Women Rights in Iran from Qajar and Pahlavi eras to contemporary Iran. Narrator Neghar Mohamadi from VOA Persian's Zaneh Emrooz.

Shah of Iran in a Speech from 1977 at 16th anniversary of women rights:

Ayatollah Khomeiny on Hijab and Woman in Islam 1979 :



Recommended Readings:

A woman for all seasons -- In memory of Farrokhrou Parsa by Ardavan Bahrami 

A Tribute to Farrokhrou Parsa by Farah Pahlavi in Persian

EVEN AFTER ALL THIS TIME By Afschineh Latifi ( A Memoir)







  Related Pictory:
pictory: The Day the Veil Was Dropped (1934)
pictory: Promotional Film on Women during Pahlavi Era (1970's)

Women's Day: Reza Shah and Son visit School Girls (1930's)

WOMEN GET TO VOTE: Female Crowd Gratefully Gather At Shah's Palace (1963)

pictory:(FOR REFERENDUM BASHERS) Women Punched in Face by Revolutionaries

pictory: Stoning a Woman For Adultery During Qajar Era Depicted in Painting

Related Blogs:


JAVIDAN: Farokhroo Pārsā (1922-1980)


Mahnaz Afkhami The First Female Minister during the Shah's Era

Mahnaz Afkhami on Women and the Future of the Middle East

Mahnaz Afkhami: A Women For All Seasons (VOA/BBC Interviews)

Women's Day: Mahnaz Afkhami Pioneer Feminist (1975)

Women's Day: First Women to Attend Tehran University (1940's/1950's)

Eminent Persians: Mahnaz Afkhami International Women's Conference in Mexico City (1975)

WOMEN RIGHTS: Princess Ashraf Chairman of Women Status Commission (1965)


more from Darius Kadivar

"Dr. Parsa, according to

by Rostam on

"Dr. Parsa, according to records, highly mismanaged the education system"

According to what records? Your records?


She was very educated but ...

by nitemustfall on

Dr. Parsa, according to records, highly mismanaged the education system when she was in charge od Ministry of Education. Regardless, she did not deserve what she received from IRI. And she is not alone, hundreds of distinguished ranks in Pahlavi era were unfairly tried and executed.




by MRX1 on

DK for this post. She had more honor and more courage than 99% of people in Iran.

Darius Kadivar

mullah-kosh Aziz Yek Lotf Bekon ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on


Many great honorable Iranians died

by mullah-kosh on

and were martyred because of a pathetic, weakling, wussy dictator who had f**king lost his mind, and thought he had the mandate of God, and spirit of Koroush e bozorg behind him. Shameful how a degenerate not only destroyed a country by being an arrogant prick, but also destroyed so many lives. At the very least he could have fought with his generals, and showed half the courage they showed. Shame on such a king, and shame on Iranians who continue to bring his name in line of the sacred annals of Iranian Imperial history.

Azarin Sadegh

Thank you, Darius jan!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thank you for this wonderful tribute to one of our greatest Iranian women! Her precious work and her cruel execution will never be forgotten.


Red Wine


by Red Wine on

خداوند حضرت خانم پارسا را رحمت کند... تا چند سال نگذاشتیم تا مادرم از جریاناتی که بر ایشان گذشت باخبر شود.. مادرم علاوه بر همکاریهای مستقیم با ایشان در امور آموزش و پرورش..در چند نکته و امورات دیگر خیریه با ایشان همکاری داشتند و همینطور دوستان مشترک (سرکار خانم روحی‌ و سرکار خانم ابتهاج که با همه ایشان رفت و آمد خانوادگی داشتیم،خوش ایّامی بود !) که حال چندی از ایشان بی‌ خبریم .

مادرم همیشه از ایشان تعریف می‌کند و واقعا بغض گلویش را می‌گیرد و برای ایشان شمع روشن می‌کند و یادش را گرامی‌ !

داریوش خان دستت درد نکند از این یادآوری.