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The Mullahs And Four Decades Of Women’s Rights Violations In Iran – OpEd

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 By Hossein Beizayi

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The 1979 Iranian Revolution is a story of unfulfilled promises, neglected possibilities, incompetent governments, and untold stories. The expectations of the millions of Iranians, who in 1979 voted for an Islamic Republic and for prosperity and freedom, remain drastically unfulfilled. Instead of democracy, Iranians ended up with autocracy. Instead of an accountable government, they ended up with corruption and cronyism. Human rights and women’s and minority rights were all sacrificed in the name of religion.

On top of the 1979 revolution’s broken promises, stands women’s rights violations in Iran. The misogynist ideology of the mullahs became active right after their grasp on power. Iranian women, young and old, who were so instrumental in toppling the Shah’s regime, became the prisoners of another regime, this time under the mask of religion. Today, Iran is one of the greatest oppressors of women in the world.

Regime’s restrictions on women in Iran

Women are unable to leave the country, or to even obtain a passport unless their husband allows it. As for higher schooling, many areas of study, such as engineering or technological fields, are limited only to men. This is also the case in the workplace. Women are able to work if their husbands allow it. Even if he allows it, they are only able to work in jobs that are open to women and many are only open to men.

Women are still mandated to wear the hijab and chador any time they are in public, only showing their faces.

One of the revolutionary government’s first acts was to suspend the Family Protection Law and dismantle Family Courts. Men were once again free to divorce their wives by simple declaration; they also gained exclusive custody of their children. Women could no longer file for divorce unless the right was stipulated in marriage contracts, and they lost the right to child custody.

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Restrictions on polygamy were also removed.

In 1981, Iran’s parliament approved the Islamic Law of Retribution, introducing flogging, stoning, and payment of blood money for crimes ranging from adultery to violation of the Islamic dress codes.

The marriage age for girls was reduced to puberty, which is nine under Islamic law. By law, a girl as young as 13 years can marry, while girls even younger can legally marry with judicial and paternal consent. In the first half of 2021, over 16,000 girls aged between 10 and 14 years have married, according to official government figures.

On November 16, 2021, UN human rights experts called on Iran to repeal a wide-ranging new law that severely restricts access to abortion, contraception, voluntary sterilization services and related information, in direct violation of women’s human rights under international law. The ‘Youthful Population and Protection of the Family’ law, which aims to boost the fertility rate, was ratified by Iran’s Guardian Council in November is in “clear contravention of international law,” the experts noted. The new law also contains a vaguely formulated provision in article 61 which states that if carried out on a large scale, abortion would fall under the crime of “corruption on earth” and would carry the death penalty.

“The consequences of this law will be crippling for women and girls’ right to health and represents an alarming and regressive U-turn by a government that had been praised for progress on the right to health,” the experts said.

Many women in Iran are facing punishments for standing up for themselves against this oppression. These punishments include beatings, torture, and prison time. These women are being submitted to cruel and unusual punishment for the simple act of fighting back against women’s rights violations in Iran.

And the list goes on and on.

Iranian women, the most dangerous enemy of the mullahs

Despite Iran’s harsh limitations on women, embedded in the Constitution of the regime and its implementation in most serious methods, the women of Iran have proven to be more resilient than the regime had expected. In the recent uprisings in many different cities in Iran, women’s presence caught the eyes of many observers. The video clips of mass participation of the women of Iran in social unrest and protests have captured the attention and admiration of politicians around the world. Their message is plain and simple: They seek gender equality and change, a regime change.

The mullah’s regime in Iran exemplifies four decades of ill-conceived policies, deadly miscalculations, willful ignorance, poisonous rhetoric, lost lives, inflamed hatreds, wasted resources, and the nurturing of fertile ground for extremists of all stripes. Along with their countrymates, the women of Iran are determined to bring this distasteful era of Iranian history to an end and tighten the noose on the lifelines of this regime. This is not a theory or rhetoric; it is the reality taking shape on the streets of Iran, day after day.

Iran News Wire

Iran News Wire is home to real news on Iran. We are dedicated to honest and reliable reporting. We aim to be the voice of the Iranian people and their protests for freedom and democracy at a time when the Iranian government wants to silence dissent and suppress their voices for democracy

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