Women in Iran have gained unprecedented experiences in the course of their fight for democracy and human rights. In the Pahlavi era, the modernisation model was based on Western patterns. With the Islamic Revolution, a new generation of Iranian women emerged in social arenas. Ayatollah Khomeini always emphasised women's prominent and important role in social life. His views shed light on potentials for women's rights, but the obstacle of old cultural and historical attitudes have made these ideas difficult to actualise. The weakness of civil organisations, including women's political and non-political organisations, has seriously affected the outcomes. Although a reformist government and the reinforcement of governmental institutions concerned with women's affairs can play a part in improving the situation of women, women's civil society organisations can assume responsibilities at social levels in order to complement the role of the representatives. The author discusses the process of women's entrance in the public sphere and efforts by the 6th parliament to protect their rights.