Farrokhroo Parsa

Last updated
Farrokhroo Parsay
Farrokhroo Parsa 1342.jpg
Parsay in 1963
Minister of Education
In office
27 August 1968 2 January 1971
Monarch Mohammad-Reza Shah
Prime Minister Amir Abbas Hoveida
Preceded by Parviz Natel-Khanlari
Succeeded by Manouchehr Ganji
Member of the Parliament of Iran
In office
15 January 1963 25 August 1968
Constituency Tehran
Personal details
Born(1922-03-24)24 March 1922
Qom, Persia
Died8 May 1980(1980-05-08) (aged 58)
Tehran, Iran
Political party Rastakhiz Party
Spouse(s)Ahmad Shirin Sokhan (1948–1980, her death)
Profession Physician, politician

Farrokhroo Parsay (Persian : فرخ‌رو پارساي; 24 March 1922 [1] – 8 May 1980) was an Iranian physician, educator and parliamentarian.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Iran Islamic Republic in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.


She served as Minister of Education of Iran in the last pre-Islamic revolution government and was the first female cabinet minister of an Iranian government. Parsa was an outspoken supporter of women's rights in Iran.

Iranian Revolution Revolution in Iran to overthrow the Shah replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.

Farrokhroo Parsay was executed by firing squad on 8 May 1980 in Tehran, [2] at the outset of the Islamic Cultural Revolution.

Tehran Capital city of Iran

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 24th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.


Board of Governors of Association of Patriotic Women [Jam'iyat-e Nesvan-e Vatankhah], Tehran, 1922-1932. The woman on the far left is FakhrAfagh Parsa, mother of Farrokhroo Parsa. Association of Patriotic Women, Board of Governors, 1301-1311, Tehran.jpg
Board of Governors of Association of Patriotic Women [ Jam'iyat-e Nesvan-e Vatankhah ], Tehran, 1922–1932. The woman on the far left is FakhrAfagh Parsa, mother of Farrokhroo Parsa.
Farrokhroo Parsa, in revolutionary court, 1979 F parsa.jpg
Farrokhroo Parsa, in revolutionary court, 1979

Farrokhroo Parsa was born on 24 March 1922 in Qom, Iran to Farrokh-Din and Fakhr-e Āfāgh Pārsāy. Her mother, Fakhr-e Āfāgh, was the editor of the women's magazine Jahān-e Zan ("The World of Woman"), [3] and a vocal proponent for gender equality and for educational opportunities for women. Her views on this subject met with opposition of the conservative sections of the society of her time, leading to the expulsion of the family by the government of Ahmad Qavām, from Tehran to Qom, where Fakhr-e Āfāgh was placed under house arrest. It was here that Farrokhroo was born, some minutes past midnight on Iranian New Year's Eve 1922 (Nowruz, 1301 AH). [3] Later, with the intervention of Prime Minister Hasan Mostowfi ol-Mamalek, her family was allowed to return to Tehran.

Qom City in Iran

Qom is the seventh metropolis and also the seventh largest city in Iran. Qom is the capital of Qom Province. It is located 140 km to the south of Tehran. At the 2016 census its population was 1,201,158. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River.

Gender equality view that men and women should receive equal treatment, and should not be discriminated against based on gender

Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender.

Ahmad Qavam Prime Minister of Iran

Ahmad Qavam, also known as Qavam os-Saltaneh, was a politician who served as Prime Minister of Iran five times.

Upon obtaining a medical degree, Parsa became a biology teacher in Jeanne d'Arc Highschool in Tehran. At the school she came to know Farah Diba, one of her students at this school, and who would later become wife of King Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. [3] [4]

Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis.

Jeanne d’Arc School was a French school founded in 1900 in Tehran, Iran. A prestiguous school for girls, it operated until the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Many members of Iran's upper classes studied at the Jeanne d’Arc School, and it offered both primary and secondary education.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 20th-century Shah of Iran

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. Mohammad Reza Shah took the title Shahanshah on 26 October 1967. He was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi held several other titles, including that of Aryamehr and Bozorg Arteshtaran ("Commander-in-Chief"). His dream of what he referred to as a "Great Civilisation" in Iran led to a rapid industrial and military modernisation, as well as economic and social reforms.

In 1963, Parsa was elected to parliament (the Majles ), and began petitioning Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for suffrage for Iran's women. [3] She was also a driving force for legislation that amended the existing laws concerning women and family. In 1965 Pārsā was appointed Deputy Minister of Education and on 27 August 1968 she became Minister of Education in the cabinet of the Amir-Abbas Hoveyda government. [3] It was the first time in the history of Iran that a woman has occupied a cabinet position.

Suffrage right to vote

Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections. In some languages, and occasionally in English, the right to vote is called active suffrage, as distinct from passive suffrage, which is the right to stand for election. The combination of active and passive suffrage is sometimes called full suffrage.

Farrokhroo Parsa was executed by firing squad on 8 May 1980 in Tehran, [2] at the outset of the Islamic Cultural Revolution.

In her last letter from prison, Farrokhroo Parsa wrote to her children: "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." [3]

Her successor as the Education Minister of Iran, Manouchehr Ganji another minister before Islamic revolution, expressed surprise at her execution: she was "a lady, [...]Doctor, a competent physician who entertained good relations at the Ministry with revolutionaries like Beheshti, Bahonar, and Rejaii." [5] In fact, during her tenure as minister of education, Beheshti, Bahonar and Mohammed Mofatteh were on the ministry's payroll. These three were to be major players in the Islamic Revolution several years later. With her ministry's funding, Beheshti established the Islamic Center of Hamburg and Bahonar was able to set up a few Islamic public schools around Tehran. [6]

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  1. https://www.balatarin.com/permlink/2016/3/23/4135409
  2. 1 2 Lentz, Harris M., "Farrokhrou Parsay", Assassinations and Executions: An Encyclopedia of Political Violence, 1865-1986, Jefferson: McFarland, p. 208.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bahrami, Ardavan (May 9, 2005), A woman for all seasons: In memory of Farrokhrou Parsa, iranian.com.
  4. Pahlavi-Diba, Farah (May 8, 2000), In memory of Mrs. Farrokhrou Parsay executed on May 8, 1980, (in Persian), farahpahlavi.org.
  5. Ganji, Manouchehr (2002), Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader, p. 80 .
  6. Pirnia, Mansureh (2007), Madam Minister: A Collection of Memoirs and Notes Written by Farrokhroo Parsa