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It doesn’t happen often, but this is a post about Iran that’s not really about Iran and their nuclear programme or infuriating human rights record.


this is about a picture Reuters took and the text Ha’aretz put on it:

It’s Barak Ravid’s latest on the (admittedly) intense and highly important P5+1 talks in geneva (so it’s worth a read as well)

Geneva || Kerry, Ashton, and Zarif in critical meeting on Iran’s nuclear program

France: Arak reactor, 20 percent enriched uranium stock stand in way of agreement with Iran.


But take a look:

Kerry, Ashton, Zarif in Geneva - Reuters

Photo: Reuters

the text reads:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend closed-door nuclear talks in Geneva November 9, 2013. 

What’s wrong with that, you think. Nothing is wrong, except the sin of omission.

I think we can all recognise Kerry, Ashton and Zarif by now. But why not mention BY NAME AND TITLE the two women?

They are at the table, literally, so give them room in the photo credits. Say “This is Undersecretary Wendy Sherman of the US (to the far left) and then Kerry, then Helga Schmid of the EU, then Ashton, then – i don’t know this man (it doens’t look like Michael Mann, Ashton’s spox. and he had a very similar pic on his twitter which could mean he took it) – then Zarif.

And before you say: why does this matter? at all? the 3 main players are pointed out, i’ll just say this: helping people to correctly identify female leaders on pictures is important. it tells us they matter. you may or may not like the path of the nuclear negotiations, but the fact that some very high level female diplomats are centrally involved is a good thing. so let us familiarize ourselves with them.

I am on to this because in the summer, I was sending Vera a picture of a meeting in the White House. the President was at the end of the table, and sorrounded by men. there was ONE women there. and she was passing along food. As I wrote Vera “she’s in the room, so she HAS to be important. but why don’t i know her? and why isn’t her name mentioned in the caps?!”

Turns out, it was Nancy Pelosi. Vera recognised her in profile (see Vera, you ARE american now!) and I didn’t. and i spend a lot of time dealing with american politics and as you know, i am kinda a big feminist. and make a point of actively paying attention to female politicians (seldomly agreeing with them on all points). And it was sad i didn’t ‘get the picture’.

This one, i *do* get. But how many average Ha’aretz readers do? Reuters? Seize the small chances for education for gender equality, seize them!

And i hope that if anyone signs anything in Geneva tonight, it includes a capping of Iran’s installing of centrifuges. Since that’s what will prevent a nuclear weapon. Not limiting 20% enriched uranium. Says I. but that’s a different post.