Homa Ehsan: First Iranian Woman Broadcast Journalist


Homa Ehsan: First Iranian Woman Broadcast Journalist
by faryarm

She Became the first Woman Broadcast Journalist in 1956 in Iran; the first female face on Iranian TV in 1958 and a familiar voice o Iranian Radio in the 1960s, going on to make major inroads for the role of women in Iranian broadcast and publishing Media.

Homa Ehsan whose father was an ultra conservative Muslim and Scholar, experienced religious persecution as a child , when her father after more than twenty years of opposing the Bahais, himself joined their ranks, dedicating the rest of his life to its study and teaching.

Homa Ehsan, who resigned herself from the Bahai faith and no longer considers herself an active member of the Bahai community, because of her vocal opposition and involvement in politics; speaks about her family's suffering after her father declared himself a Bahai; Her father and family , being one day the object of awe and respect; the next, the target of hate , death threats and daily violence from once friendly neighbors and friends.

Homa Ehsan whose father was an ultra conservative Muslim and Scholar, experienced religious persecution as a child , when her father after more than twenty years of opposing the Bahais, himself joined their ranks, dedicating the rest of his life to its study and teaching.

Her engaging weekly show can be seen on ARYA Satellite TV every Thursday.

See also www.homaehsan.com




more from faryarm

نسیم شمال و مسئله حقوق زنان

annonymt (not verified)

ج:عدم عضویت نساء دربیت العدل اعظم الهی

مسئله دیگری که در ان برنامه و سایر برنامه ها مطرح شده مسئله عدم عضویت زنان در بیت العدل اعظم است و این را بر عدم تساوی حقوق زن و مرد دانسته اند اصل مسلم در آئین بهائی تساوی حقوق همه انسان هاست به خصوص حقوق زنان و مردان چنانچه حضرت بهاءالله در این مورد فرموده اند (امروز اماءالله از رجال محسوب طوبی لهن .کتاب پیام ملکوت صفحه 231)ونیز (قلم اعلی فرق ما بین عباد و اماء را بر داشته و کل را در صقع واحد به عنایت کامله و رحمت منبسطه مقر و مقام عطا فرمود کتاب مائده آسمانی جلد 8 صفحه 52)و حضرت عبد البهاءنیز فرموده اند که (تعلیم حضرت بهاءالله مساوات حقوق رجال و نساءاست باید تساوی حقوق حاصل نمایندتا نساءدر جمیع کمالات مساوی با رجال گردندکتاب خطابات مبارکه جلد 2 صفحه 6)بنا براین تساوی حقوق زنان ومردان در آئین بهائی مورد تائید بوده ولی در بعضی مواقع بنا به عللی امتیازاتی را نسبت به افراد و یا گروه های مقابل عطا فرموده بدون اینکه لطمه ای به تساوی حقوق بخورد به عنوان مثال

1-تامین مخارج همسر به عهده مرد است در حالیکه اصل مسلم، تساوی حقوق است

2-در زمان تربص یک ساله جهت طلاق کلیه خرج و مخارج همسر با مرد است در حالیکه اصل مسلم، تساوی حقوق است

3-در مسئله تعلیم و تربیت تقدم با نساء است در حالیکه اصل مسلم، تساوی حقوق است

4-سفارش شده که بیشترین کرسی های مجالس قانون گذاری را برای زنان اختصاص دهید در حالیکه اصل مسلم، تساوی حقوق است

5-حج بیت الله(شیراز و بغداد)فریضه هر مومن است ولی زنان از این فریضه معاف هستند و می توانند به حج نروند در حالیکه اصل مسلم، تساوی حقوق است

6- در انتخابات بهائی همه از حقوق مساوی برخور دار هستند ولی در مورد تساوی آرا حق تقدم با اقلیت های قومی و مذهبی و جنسی و نژادی است در حالیکه اصل مسلم، تساوی حقوق است

در مقابل اعطا این همه امتیاز به زنان یک امتیاز به مردان داده شده وآن عضویت مردان در بیت العدل اعظم الهی است در حالیکه باز اصل مسلم ،تساوی حقوق همه انسان هاست پس عدم عضویت نساء در بیت العدل اعظم مورد خاصی بوده که شارع بهائی آنرا بیان فرموده و از این استنباط نمی شود که حقوق زنان تضییع شده و یا آنها از حقوق مساوی با مردان بر خوردار نیستند.انتهی


just another kid: misjudging Bahais ?

by faryarm on

Firstly , As a Bahai, I do not agree with some of Ms Ehsan's remarks,and opinions, not to mention her sometime militant tone and language, which are not consistent with the spirit of Bahai teachings.

Never the less I agree with her remarks about the dire need for Iranians to catch up on the events and history of the last 160 years of a progressive, social and spiritual movement that has been misrepresented and kept from them .

Homa Ehsan, is no "Akhond", she is a candid commentator whose intimate knowledge and experience of the last fifty years as a woman and pioneering journalist qualifies her to speak with such candor.

How can you call her an" Akhond" when all she is asking people to do is to examine and question the facts for themselves.

When was the last time an "Akhond" asked people to investigate freely the Pros and Cons of Islam? 

Can Homa Ehsan Be called "Akhond" , when she tells people to read Anti Bahai material and the responses to them by Bahais? 

Does not such freethinking, qualify her as  a RoshanFekr?

Secondly, I am afraid I find your response to be void of any depth or understandinig of Bahai administration, institutions or its teachings.

Your comments also point to a very common and telling agenda; one shared by many intent on their opposition,who  will fish on the web  for any seemingly negative point to press little thought out  criticism, like laws of inheritance and so on; criticism to which clear and convincing answers exist based on clear guidance in the Bahai teachings, guidance that touch upon the most sensitive issues of today without compromise of basic human principles.

For Example,  The Book of AQDAS is a Book of Laws, a charter for the future and a more spirtually mature human being.

"Bahá'u'lláh stated that the observance of the laws that he prescribed should be subject to "tact and wisdom", and that they do not cause "disturbance and dissension."[1][2] Bahá'u'lláh thus provided for the progressive application of his laws; for example certain Bahá'í laws are only applicable toMiddle Eastern Bahá'ís such as the limit to the period of engagement, while any Bahá'í may practice the laws if they so decide. Other Bahá'í laws such as the prohibition to drink alcohol have also been applied gradually in countries where it goes against social norms, and for which most Bahá'ís are new to the religion. Shoghi Effendi also stated that certain other laws, such as criminal laws, that are dependent upon the existence of a predominantly Bahá'í society would only be applicable in a possible future Bahá'í society. He also stated that if the laws were in conflict with the civil law of the country where a Bahá'í lives the laws could not be practiced.[1] Furthermore some laws and teachings are, according to Bahá'í teaching, not meant to be applied at the present time and their application depends on decisions by the Universal House of Justice." 

Bahais do not have bad "intent" or hide anything. They are not "nice" because they are diplomatic. 

Do you think the Bahais in Iran are being diplomatic, when they dont fight back, when they are attacked, their houses torched, imprisoned and tortured. Surely it has to do with a degree education, upbringing, faith , love , respect and love for principle. Surely you must admit there is a certain "saintly" quality to their peaceful resistance against the injustice to which you kindly condemn.

As to to their leaders; Bahais dont have individuals as leaders. They have Assemblies that consist of women and men, who have no power or influence as individuals. They try to conduct their business according to a unique concept called Bahai Consultation; where personal interest, ambition and agendas have no place.

That is why individuals with strong egos and personal ambition for power and influence can not function within this atmosphere and choose to leave.

Members of Bahai assemblies are at best, supposed to serve with an attitude of sacrifice, humility and love, without any personal gain.

The Bahai international community is governed by thousand of non partisan, democratically elected( by secret ballot) based on on character, capacity and integrity, women and men who serve of thousands of local and national bahai assemblies, who every four years in turn elect nine men to serve as the Universal house of justice. Why this one institution dos not have women serving on it,  Bahais have been assured that the answer will in the future and in time become as obvious as the Sun at Noon.

"The equality of the sexes is seen by Bahá'ís as a spiritual and moral standard that is essential for the unification of the planet and the unfoldment of world order, and in the importance of implementing the principle in individual, family, and community life. Although men and women are equal in the Bahá'í Faith, this equality does not imply sameness. Men and women are seen as having different strengths and abilities that enable them to better fill different roles. Thus there are certain teachings that in some cases give preference to one of the genders.

Teachings giving preference to women or men

While the Bahá'í teachings assert the full spiritual and social equality of women to men, there are some provisions of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas which favour either men or women. These provisions, Bahá'ís state, do not constitute evidence of the superiority of one gender over the other, but that of different roles, both biologically and socially, that each gender has in society.


Teachings giving preference to women
  • Education - It is a parent's obligation to make a daughter's education a higher priority than a son's education when resources do not permit education for all, because women are the educators of the next generation (see above).
  • Dowry - The husband must provide a dowry to his bride. Furthermore, if the husband and wife choose to divorce, the husband must support his wife until the divorce is complete.
  • Pilgrimage - Women do not have the obligation of making pilgrimage, although they can if they choose. Men who are financially able to do so are obliged to make the pilgrimage.]
Teachings giving preference to men
  • The Universal House of Justice - Membership on the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Bahá'í Faith, is made up exclusively of nine male members. All other positions in the Bahá'í administration are open to both male and female Bahá'ís.
"women are the equals of men in all rights save only that of membership on the Universal House of Justice, for, as hath been stated in the text of the Book (Kitáb-i-Aqdas), both the Head and the members of the House of Justice are men."
(`Abdu'l-Bahá quoted in The Universal House of Justice, 1988 May 31, Women and UHJ Membership) "there is a Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá in which he definitely states that the membership of the Universal House of Justice is confined to men, and that the wisdom of it will be fully revealed and appreciated in the future."
(Letter by Shoghi Effendi (28 July 1936) quoted The Universal House of Justice, 1988 May 31, Women and UHJ Membership)
  • Inheritance - Regarding the laws of intestacy, when a Bahá'í dies without a will, fathers receive slightly more than mothers, brothers slightly more than sisters, and if the deceased owned a personal residence, such residence passes to the eldest son. Such laws of inheritance apply only in the case that a Bahá'í dies without leaving a will. Bahá'ís are obliged to write a will themselves, and are encouraged to decide on inheritance as they see fit.[17]


The above is an attempt to clarify some points for the benefit of some who are truly sincere in their quest for knowledge.

I hope i can not be accused of

"hiding" facts,

 "denial of many negative aspects of "Bahai religion",

"not emphasize it",  or for

having " simple lack of knowledge".

If  lacking  I would be happy to find the answer and welcome constructive discussion on these issues, as I have tried to in the  Iranian.com community since 1996.








another woman AKHOND talking

by just some kid (not verified) on

I am getting throughly disgusted by how hypocritcal some Bahais are. First, let me tell you how turned off I was when she called herself a "roshanfekr". She is anything, but. She is just an akhond, of the Bahai kind. She says Bahai religion is "edalat". Oh really? So how come women cannot get elected to the leadership post, which is the Universal House of Justice? How truly offensive to women.

She says go study Bahai religion. Yeah, I've read a little about it, just so to understand my Bahai aquaintances, and Iranian Bahais in general. Before going on further, I have to say how bad I feel the way the Bahais are treated. They deserve full citizenship rights, in all and every aspect of law, such as ownership, education, emplyment, leadership, burial, civil, and criminal cases, etc.

Moving on, Bahais claim they are the answer to today's problems. So how come your inheritance laws are so flawed against women?

And as far as respecting people's rights, your religion does not leave any room for homosexuals, does it?

Regarding punishment for stealing, your religion states that if somebody steals for three times, his forehead must be branded. Really now? Is that your modern solution? Now, what's that gonna solve, besides creating more problems?

The reason the Bahais are nice, and in general trying to be diplomatic, is because they want to spread the word, however, once ANY RELGION, is put upon as the law, it leads to tyranny.

And, much more of course, like not being able to oppose the authority, such as those men at the Universal House of Justice. No Bahai can oppose them. How utterly nonsense. Those guys think they're better than other people? What a bad attitude, it seems to go around a lot, since this woman is also calling herself, "roshanfekr", how modest!!! So they don't like to be challenged, because they are "godly" or "saintly". Baba, these are just "ghesseh", get real already!

I detest this Mrs akhond. I hated this lecture. I hope the day comes that people won't get fooled from one religion to another.

I can only expalin the Bahais' attitudes about the Bahai religion's many faults & flaws in the following terms:

1. they are in denial of many negative aspects of Bahai religion

2. they don't emphasize it, therefore, are not truly internalizing it

3. simple lack of knowledge

4. they're actively hiding Bahai religion's many flaws due to bad intent

5. or just some mix of above

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.



by A friend (not verified) on

Thank you Faryar -- her talk is indeed very eye opening and very interesting way of promoting tolerance, being a good neighbor and individual investigation of the truth (don't listen to mullahs). I like the part that she said the mullahs know exactly who the Baha’is are.

regards, a friend


Thank you!

by farshadjon on

Thank you, Faryam jan.


That was really intresting.


Interesting blog!

by 007 (not verified) on

خانم هما احسان چند روز پیش مصاحبه ای داشتن با خانم ازیتا شیرازی در جام جم.خانم احسان در مورد دشواری طلاق شان با همسر اول به علت تعصبات مذهبی و قوانین دشوار طلاق موجود در ان زمان صحبت کردند...و تلاش هایی که برای تغییر قانون انجام دادن.
من به عنوان یک زن ایرانی از وجود زنهایی همانند طاهره قره العین افثخار میکنم.
و درود میفرستم به تمامی زن هایی که در جهت تساوی حقوق زن و مرد گامی جدی برداشتند.

با سپاس از فرستادن این بلاگ


Thank you Faryam jan

by Souri on

I'd watched a couple of her programs, there are great. thanks for giving us more info about Ms Ehsan's back ground. This was very much appreciated.


thank you..

by faryarm on

I guess she can be called the first lady electronic journalist !

By the way...

One should feature Marziyeh Zarabi's works (AKA Marzieh Gail). 

She was the daughter of Ali Kuli Khan (Persian Charge D'Affaires in Washington in 1912) who had married a Bostonian Debutante named Frances breed.

Marzieh was perhaps the result of the first Persian American marriage (?) 

Darius Kadivar

Thanks for the Feedback Azadeh Jaan

by Darius Kadivar on

It would be great if these works were translated into english be it for historical knowledge.

Azadeh Azad

Iranian women journalists

by Azadeh Azad on

Thank you, Faryar, for this blog. However, there have been other Iranian women journalists before Ms. Ehsan. The title of the "first" goes to Ms. Kahal who, in 1909, published a first weekly magazine focusing on women’s issues, named Danesh.

In 1920, Alam-e Nesvan was published under the license of Ms. Navab Safavi by the students and graduates of American schools. In the same year, Shahnaz Azad published Nameh-e Banovan. In 1922, Fakhr Afagh Parsa published Jahan-e Zan in Mashhad.

In 1923 the Society of Nationalist Women published their publication and its editing board consisted of Fakhr-ol Saltaneh Foruhar, Nour-ol Hoda Mangeneh, and Fakhr Ozma Arghavan.

In 1925, Marziyeh Zarabi published Nesvan-e Shargh. During the rule of Reza Shah, Narjes Amouzegar published Aftab-e Shargh and then Badr-ol Moluk Bamdad published Zan-e Emrouz on a weekly basis.



Darius Kadivar

A True Lioness

by Darius Kadivar on

I saw her on VOA TV and photos of her when she was young and she was a very beautiful woman in her youth. She was even a Dokhtareh Shayesteh in Iran:


Also very a very Outspoken Feminist. Truly admirable. I think she lives in Paris too.

She is a real lioness !