Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi

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Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi
Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi.jpg
Iranian Ambassador to the Denmark
In office
1 March 1975 1 March 1979
Preceded by Parviz Sepahboudi
Succeeded by Abbas Amir-Entezam
Member of the Parliament of Iran
In office
15 January 1963 14 January 1975
Constituency Kermanshah
Personal details
Born 13 December 1919
Isfahan, Persia
Died 1 October 2008(2008-10-01) (aged 88)
Paris, France
Nationality Iranian
Alma mater Berlin University
Heidelberg University

Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi (13 December 1919 – 11 October 2008) was an Iranian social activist and politician, who held significant positions, including ambassador of Iran to Denmark during the Pahlavi era. She also served as a MP for three terms.


Early life and education

Dowlatshahi was born in Isfahan on 13 December 1919. [1] However, her family were major land owners based in Kermanshah. [2] She was a daughter of Mohammad Ali Mirza "Meshkout Al Dowleh", majlis member and land owner. [3] [4] She was a member of the Qajar dynasty. [1] Her mother was Akhtar ol-Mulk, daughter of Hidayat Quli Khan. [1] Mehrangiz was the cousin of Esmat Dowlatshahi, fourth wife of Reza Shah. [5]

Isfahan City in Iran

Isfahan is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres south of Tehran, and is the capital of Isfahan Province.

Kermanshah Province Province in 4th Region, Iran

Kermanshah Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. The province was known from 1969 to 1986 as Kermanshahan and from 1986 to 1995 as Bakhtaran. According to a 2014 segmentation by the Ministry of Interior it is center of Region 4, with the region's central secretariat located at the province's capital city, Kermanshah. A majority of people in Kermanshah Province are Shia, and there are Sunni and Yarsanist minority groups.

Qajar dynasty monarchy state of Iran from 1789 until 1925

The Qajar Empire, also referred to as Qajar Iran, officially the Sublime State of Persia, was the state ruled by the Qajar dynasty, an Iranian royal dynasty of Turkic origin, specifically from the Qajar tribe, from 1789 to 1925. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects. In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas to the Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Mehrangiz studied in Germany and held a bachelor's degree from Berlin University. [1] She received a PhD in social and political sciences from Heidelberg University. [3]

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Heidelberg University public research university in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Heidelberg University is a public research university in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386 on instruction of Pope Urban VI, Heidelberg is Germany's oldest university and one of the world's oldest surviving universities. It was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire.


Dowlatshahi worked at the social services organization and at the organization for support of prisoners. [6] She established Rah-e No (New Way) society, which later became part of the International Women’s Syndicate. [6] The society offered training to women and advocated equal rights for them. [3] She also launched adult literacy programs in southern Tehran. [6] In 1951, she and woman activist Safeyeh Firouz met Mohammad Reza Shah to discuss the electoral rights of women in Iran. [7] She was the director of the advisory committee on International Affairs of the Women's Organization of Iran (WOI). [8] In 1973, she was appointed president of the International Council of Women and her term ended in 1976. [9]

International Council of Women organization

The International Council of Women (ICW) is a women's organization working across national boundaries for the common cause of advocating human rights for women. In March and April 1888, women leaders came together in Washington D.C. with 80 speakers and 49 delegates representing 53 women's organizations from 9 countries: Canada, the United States, Ireland, India, United Kingdom, Finland, Denmark, France and Norway. Women from professional organizations, trade unions, arts groups and benevolent societies participate. National councils are affiliated to the ICW and thus make themselves heard at the international level. The ICW enjoys consultative status with the United Nations and its Permanent Representatives to ECOSOC, ILO, FAO, WHO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNCTAD, and UNIDO.

She served as the member of the Majlis from 1963 to 1975, being the first woman in this post. [8] She represented Kermanshah at the Majlis for three terms. [10] She significantly contributed to the “family protection law” in 1967 and to its expansion in 1974. [10] She also served as the first minister of women affairs. [11] She was also the first woman ambassador of Imperial Iran to Denmark. [11] She was appointed to the post in 1975. [12]

Denmark constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

Later years and death

Dowlatshahi was the Iranian ambassador in Denmark when the 1979 revolution occurred. She left the country and settled in Paris. [6] In 2002, she published a book entitled Society, Government, and Iran’s Women’s Movement. [6] She died in Paris in October 2008. [6]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Awards and honors

In 1997, Dowlatshahi was named as the woman of the year by the Iranian Women's Studies Foundation in the United States. [13]

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  9. "About us". International Council of Women. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  10. 1 2 "Mehrangiz Dolatshahi, who struggled for the ratification of the "Family Support Law" in 1967". The Feminist School. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  11. 1 2 Darius Kadivar (6 September 2010). "Mehrangiz Dolatshahi First Woman Ambassador of Imperial Iran (1960)". Iranian. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  12. Official Report of Debates. Volume II. Council of Europe. p. 681. GGKEY:49S8UY2XXFL. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  13. "The Woman of the Year. Past awardees". IWSF. Retrieved 30 July 2013.