Homa Darabi
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Homa Darabi
Homa Darabi
Died22 February 1994(1994-02-22) (aged 54)
Tehran, Iran
Cause of deathSelf-immolation
Alma materUniversity of Tehran
Political partyNation Party of Iran[1]
RelativesParvin Darabi (sister)

Homa Darabi (Persian: ‎; 1940–1994) was an Iranian pediatrician, academic and political activist affiliated with the Nation Party of Iran. She is known for her political self-immolation in protest to the compulsory hijab, that led to her death.


Darabi was born in 1940[3] in Tehran. Following the end of high school, she entered Medical School of University of Tehran in 1959.[4] In 1960, she was detained for a organizing a student demonstration in favor of the National Front.[2] She married her classmate Manoochehr Keyhani in 1963.[4] After completing her studies, she practiced in the village Bahmanieh, located in northern Iran.[2] Darabi went to the United States to continue her studies, and obtained a pediatrics specialist degree in psychology.[4] She returned to Iran in 1976 and was employed as a professor of child psychiatry at University of Tehran, while she became once again politically active against the Pahlavi dynasty.[2] She also taught at the National University (later known as Shahid Beheshti University).[5]

She was dismissed from her position for "non-adherence to hijab" in December 1991. Despite the decision was overturned by the tribunal in May 1993, the university refused to restore her position.[2]


As a sign of protest, Darabi immolated herself by pouring petrol over her head on 21 February 1994, after she had took her hijab off in a public thoroughfare near Tajrish.[2][5]

She died of the burns in a hospital the next day.[1]

See also

Further reading

  • Darabi, Parvin; Thomson, Romin P (1999). Rage against the veil: the courageous life and death of an Islamic dissident. Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books. ISBN 9781573926829.


  1. ^ a b "Iranian woman in suicide protest", The Independent, 24 February 1994, retrieved 2020, A prominent Iranian female academic, Homa Darabi, poured petrol over herself and set herself on fire to protest at the plight of her countrywomen, according to the Iranian Nation Party to which she belonged, writes Safa Haeri. She died of severe burns in a Tehran hospital on Tuesday.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Afshar, Haleh (1998), "'Disempowerment' and the Politics of Civil Liberties for Iranian Women", in Afshar, Haleh (ed.), Women and Empowerment: Illustrations from the Third World, Springer, pp. 121-122, doi:10.1007/978-1-349-26265-6, ISBN 978-0-333-71974-9
  3. ^ Button, John (1995), The Radicalism Handbook: Radical Activists, Groups and Movements of the Twentieth Century, ABC-CLIO, p. 134, ISBN 9780874368383
  4. ^ a b c The Middle East: Abstracts and index, 21, Northumberland Press, 1998, p. 169
  5. ^ a b Wiles, Ellen (2007), "Headscarves, Human Rights, and Harmonious Multicultural Society: Implications of the French Ban for Interpretations of Equality", Law & Society Review, 41 (3), doi:10.1111/j.1540-5893.2007.00318.x, JSTOR 4623399

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