Fatemeh Haghighatjoo

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Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, also spelled Haghighatjou and Haqiqatju (Persian: فاطمه حقیقت‌جو‎‎) (born 29 December 1968/8 Dey 1347) is a reformist and a former member of the Iranian Parliament.

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Ph.D., is a leading advocate for a civil, democratic society in Iran, one that grants freedom of speech, human rights, women's rights, academic freedom, and a free press. She was a member of Iran’s reformist Majlis (parliament) from 2000 to 2004. After a losing struggle for reform in the parliament, her resignation was accepted as the first of several members on February 23, 2004.

Before entering politics, Haghighatjoo was a psychologist and head of the Student Psychological Consultant Center of Iran University of Science and Technology.[1] She has held professorships at Tehran University [2] and Shahid Beheshti University,[3] formerly known as the National University of Iran. She has authored a book entitled Search for Truth (published in Persian in 2002).

In 2005, Dr. Haghighatjoo completed her Ph.D. in Counseling from Tarbiat Moallem University [4] in Tehran, Iran.

Almost immediately after being awarded her Ph.D., Haghighatjoo left Iran for the United States with her husband, a journalist, and their daughter. They arrived in Boston in September 2005.

She was honored as a Young Global Leader in 2005 by the World Economic Forum.[5]

Shortly after arriving in the United States, Haghighatjoo became a fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies.[6] The following year, she was a fellow at Harvard University's Women and Public Policy Program.[7] While at MIT and Harvard, Haghighatjoo worked on a revision of Iran's constitution. She continues this effort while also working in Iran's reform movement.

After that, she taught women’s studies courses at The University of Connecticut [8] at Storrs during the academic year of 2007-2008. One of them was called Women in Iran; the other was called Gender in Global Perspective.

In 2008, Haghighatjoo became a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy, located at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.[9] She is currently working on an initiative called Women's Leadership in a Global Perspective,[10] which includes a week-long training program in Boston. In addition, Dr. Haghighatjoo is currently a part-time faculty member at UMass Boston, where she teaches a course called Women in Global Perspective for the Women’s Studies program.

In 2010, Fatemeh Haghighatjoo became a co-founding chair of the Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy, Inc. (NID).[11]

Currently, Dr. Haghighatjoo works on defining “state feminism” in Iran, which is the institutionalization of women’s issues there, to how it both promotes and limits women’s position there. She has published a book chapter and several papers on the Iranian women’s movement. She is also working on a book manuscript, a memoir of her life and career, entitled A Voice for Truth.

Dr. Haghighatjoo has been extensively interviewed and quoted by the international media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, BBC Persian TV and Radio, Voice of America, CNN, and others. Since arriving in the United States, she has given numerous talks regarding efforts at forming a civil society in her native Iran, as well as women’s rights and internal politics in Iran.

See also[edit]


1. Mir-Hosseini, Ziba. “Fatemeh Haghighatjoo and the Sixth Majles: A Woman in Her Own Right.” Middle East Report. 2004. http://www.merip.org/mer/mer233/mir-hosseini.html

2. “Iran: MP Haqiqatju Justifies Reasons Behind Her Resignation.” BBC Monitoring Middle East. Text of report by Iranian news agency IRNA website, in English.24 February 2004. http://global.factiva.com.ezp2.harvard.edu/aa/default.aspx?pp=Print&hcPublication

3. “Iran: Prison for Woman in Legislature.” The New York Times. 22 August 2001. World Briefing – Middle East. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE7D81731F931A1575BC0A9679C8B63&scp=2&sq=Fatemeh+Haqiqatjou&st=nyt

4. “Pro-Reform Female MP Arrested in Tehran.” BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political. Text of report by Iranian news agency IRNA, English. 27 March 2001. http://global.factiva.com.ezp2.harvard.edu/aa/default.aspx?pp=Print&hcPublication

5. “Key Khatami Ally Sentenced.” 4 March 2001. BBC News – Middle East. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1201360.stm

6. “Iran: Courts Summon Reformist Lawmakers.” The New York Times. 16 October 2002. World Briefing – Middle East. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02EFDF173DF935A25753C1A9649C8B63&scp=1&sq=Fatemeh+Haqiqatjou&st=nyt

7. “Iran: Former Reformist MP Examines Field of Presidential Election.” FBIS Translated Text, Unattributed Report: “A Project to Disgrace the Reformists is Being Implemented.” Tehran Hambastegi in Persian. 13 July 2004, Daily Report. http://toolkit.dialog.com.ezpl.harvard.edu/intranet/cgi/present?STYLE=739318018&PRESENT=DB=985,AN=192300989,FM=9,SEARCH=MD.GenericSearch

8. Haghighatjoo, Fatemeh. “Response to Government Charges – Former Reformist Deputy Fatemeh Haghighatjoo to Mr. Ali Larijani.” Rooz :: English. 26 June 2007. http://www.roozonline.com/english/archives/2007/06/005532.php