NĀMA-YE BĀNOVĀN (Women’s journal), a biweekly paper published in Tehran between 1 Mordād 1299 and 24 Khordād 1300 Š. (23 July 1920-14 June 1921). Its publisher and chief editor was Šahnāz Āzād, the daughter of Mirzā Ḥasan Rošdiya, the founder of modern education in Persia. Both Šahnāz and her husband, Mirza Abu’l-Qāsem Āzād Marāḡaʾi, the publisher of the papers Āsāyeš, Āzād, Nāma-ye pārsi, were among the pioneers advocating women’s liberation, in particular the abandonment of the veil, for which they faced prosecution by authorities (Ṣadr Hāšemi; Barzin, p. 388; Ārianpur, pp. 9, 11). They also founded Anjoman-e bānuiyān-e Irān (The Society of the Feminists of Iran; Āzādmarāḡa, p. 14). The husband seems to have played a key role in the publication of his wife’s paper.

Nāma-ye banovān used the slogan “women are the first teachers of men” on top of its banner and printed the following motto under its head-banner: “This newspaper is aiming at the awakening and liberation of the helpless and oppressed women of Iran” (In nāma barā-ye bidāri wa rastgāri-e zanān-e bičāra wa setamkeš-e Irān ast). Its articles concentrated mainly on the need for educating women and increasing their rights, but it also carried pieces containing educational and technical information, poems on the status of women, and occasionally concerning domestic and foreign news items. The paper announced on its 33rd issue that it accepted only articles written by women. Similar to the papers published by Abu’l-Qāsem Āzād, Nāma-ye bānovān avoided the use of Arabic and Turkish words and eagerly advocated purging Persian of such foreign terms. The first issue had a one-page attachment introducing a dictionary called Farhang-e āzād that Mirzā Abu’l-Qāsem claimed to have compiled (Ṣadr Hāšemi). The liberal orientation of the paper was not received well by the authorities. The paper was eventually banned and Mirzā Abu’l-Qāsem and Šahnāz were banished from Tehran (Ṣadr Hāšemi; Ārianpur, p. 9; see the letter of the chief of police, in Bayāt and Kuhestāni-neŽād, I, p. 271).

Nāma-ye bānovān was printed at Kalimiān printing house (Maṭbaʿa-ye kalimiān) in eight double-column pages of approximately 20.5 x 29.5 cm and did not carry any illustrations. The annual subscription rate was thirty krans. Scattered issues are available at the Central Library of Tehran University.


Mirzā Abolqāsem Āzādmarāḡa, Marām-nāma va neẓām-nāma-ye goruh-e bānoviān-e Irān, Tehran, n.d. Yaḥyā Āryanpur, Az Nimā tā ruzgār-e mā: tāriḵ-e adab-e fārsi-e moʿāṣer, Tehran, 1995.

Masʿud Barzin, Šenās-nāma-ye maṭbuʿāt-e Irān az 1215 tā 1275 Š., Tehran, 1992.

Kāva Bayāt and Masʿud Kuhestāni-nežād, eds., Asnād-e maṭbuʿāt, 1286-1320 H. Š., 2 vols., Tehran, 1993.

ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Nāhid, Zanān-e Irān dar jonbeš-e Mašruṭa, Tabriz, 1981, pp. 119-20.

Ṣadr Hāšemi, Jarāʾed o majallāt IV, pp. 261-62.

Mortażā Solṭāni, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye fārsi dar majmuʿa-ye ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazi wa markaz-e asnād-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān, Tehran, 1975, p. 145, no. 334.

Moḥammad Moḥit Ṭabāṭabāʾi, Tāriḵ-e taḥlili-e maṭbuʿāt-e Irān, Tehran, 1987, p. 174.

(Nassereddin Parvin)

Originally Published: January 1, 2000

Last Updated: April 15, 2010