chapter  7
13 Pages

Women and journalism

The first Iranian newspaper for women, the weekly Danesh (Knowledge), appeared in 1910, 73 years after the appearance of the first Persian language newspaper in the country, but only four years after the Iranian women’s first experience of mass political action during the Constitutional Revolution. Published by a woman optician, Dr Kahhal, Danesh was a non-political paper, offering advice on ‘feeding one’s husband on time’, ‘keeping his room warm’, using make-up to secure his affection and, hence, ensuring ‘a blissful family life’. It also ran articles on health, childcare and managing the servants, as well as fiction and reports on girls schools which were a great novelty at the time. Small circulation in a poor nation of 10 million, 95 per cent of them illiterate, and most of them dispersed in inaccessible villages, led to the closure of Danesh in less than a year.1