Simorgh – Women’s Resource & Publication Centre Started in 1985 as a part-time initiative and formalised as a full-time organisation in 1995, Simorgh is a non-government, non-profit, feminist/activist organisation.
Simorgh’s main focus is research and dissemination of information that will enable women and men to challenge the dominance of ideas that support social and economic divisions on the basis of gender, class, religion, race and nationality. Simorgh aims to redefine the culturally biased roles of men and women, and to promote not only equality between the genders, but to allow each individual to develop and find expression in his/her own right.
Simorgh acknowledges the fact that while women’s oppression cuts across class, race, religion, age, nationality and the politics of economic arrangements, it cannot be separated from these issues. Thus, while recognising the interconnections between gender subordination and other forms of oppression, and taking into account the systemic discriminations in our own society, we do not discount the fact that income gains in the developed capitalist countries have resulted partly from the political manipulation and impoverishment of the Third World.
Believing that cultural conditioning rather than biological differences defines the behavioural patterns of women and men, Simorgh is of the view that women must themselves play a more active role in bringing about the changes they seek. The first step in this direction would be to empower then with knowledge, skills, economic independence, and an awareness of the role that the dominant culture – in collusion with the divisions of class, religion and ethnicity – plays in keeping them in their present position.
Simorgh’s position comprises the materialistic view of society, enlarged by feminism. However, we have consciously avoided putting ourselves into any existing category, as defined by Western feminists. We believe that we have to develop our own approach to our problems in accordance with our historical and socio-economic needs.
Simorgh works with students, teachers, media professionals, NGOs and CBOs. Our main focus being research and dissemination of information, we strive to achieve our objective through publications, seminars, conferences, documentary films, gender awareness workshops, and, skill dissemination and income-generation projects.
Simorgh has selected the following areas of focus in its agenda for change:
- Women’s Rights as Human Rights
- Violence against Women
- Mediatic Representation of Women
- Education and other Knowledge Systems
- Religious Fundamentalisms and Women’s Oppression
- Ideology and the Family
- Women’s Histories and Women in History