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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

The execution of Madam SecretaryMadam

Entered in Documentary



The target group of “the execution of Madam Secretary” is those who are interested in the contemporary history of Iran and especially the women's movement in Iran. In fact, it happened after the revolution of 1979 in Iran and changed the fate of women in this country forever.


After the death of 22-year-old Mehsa Amini who killed while she was in morality police custody for not wearing compulsory Hijab in September 2022 in Tehran, the whole country was in chaos. Iranian women are seeking to achieve equal rights in choosing their clothing in this country, the root of it lies in the confrontation of women with the Shia clergy, who over the centuries have been able to always keep on the sidelines.

Strategy and Execution


In this documentary, for the first time after 42 years, Mrs. Parsay's family talks about what happened to them during the past four decades. Mrs. Parsay's daughters talk about the execution of their mother and her son-in-law talk about his efforts to save her life in the first months after the 1979 revolution.

Mrs. Parsay's daughters also talk about their personal and family life in the 60s when Farrokh Rou was introduced as the first female minister in Iran.

In this documentary, the viewer also witnessed with the words of Empress Farah Pahlavi and Nobel peace prize winner Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, both of whom were students of Mrs. Parsay from many years ago and describe the characteristics of their teacher in the school.

From the legal point of view, Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, who is a lawyer spoke about the death sentence of Mrs. Parsai and challenged it

Mrs. Mahnaz Afkhami, who was the advisory minister for women's affairs in 1977 until the Iranian revolution in February 1979, spoke about the important role of Mrs. Parsay in achieving freedom and the possibility of education for Iranian women, and about her experience as a young woman at the same time as Mrs. Parsay's ministry in 70s.

And the interviewees in this documentary talk about the contrast between the important actions that Ms. Parsay took and the thoughts of the Shiite clergy and how the clergy have always opposed the progress of Iran's religious society and women's freedom since the 1950s and even before they were against women’s rights.

What we are witnessing today in Iran, especially after the killing of 22-year-old Mehsa Amini, is the continuation of the struggle of Iranian women to achieve equal rights in Iranian society, which in this documentary will introduce the viewer to its history from the beginning of the 20th century.


This project was started informing the Iranian society's awareness of the women's movement and pioneers in this field, and Mrs. Parsay is one of these women. Mrs. Parsay was chosen because she held the highest government position during the Pahlavi era as education minister. When she was a minister, she collaborated with Shia clerics in Iran to produce religious textbooks, and the same clerics reached high official positions aftermath of in the Iranian revolution in 1979. By the end, nothing was done by those clerics to prevent Ms. Parsay's execution.

This documentary provides the audiences with a complete and real picture of Iranian women's movement in the 20th century through the personal and professional life of Mrs. Parsay. This work is a kind of review of the contemporary history of Iran and a search to find answers to countless questions that may exist in the minds of young audiences.

That in the 21st century, women and girls in Iran are still involved in choosing the type of clothing. The Shiite clergies and the religious authority in Iran do not give any concessions to women. All of these are the roots of the opposition of the religious and radical thought of the Iranian government with women, who comprise half of the country's 86 million population.


Video for The execution of Madam SecretaryMadam

Entrant Company / Organization Name

VOA, VOA Persian


Entry Credits