Iranian women are heavily restricted in their personal and public lives, so much so the freedom of movement under controls requiring a husband’s signature to leave the country.
The list of restrictions is quite long, including state-enforced dress codes, curbs on higher education courses, jobs and sporting activities open to them. In 1979, Iran made it mandatory to wear a hijab at public gatherings and women failing to do so are punishable by law.
[This is a bit in the name of freedom for women in Iran].
At a meeting of religious leaders on Sunday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated gender equality is a “Zionist plot” aiming to corrupt the role of women in society.
“Turning a woman into a commodity and means of pleasure in the Western world is most probably among plots hatched by Zionists to destroy human society. Unfortunately, sometimes [even] inside the country and in some Islamic environments, duties and expectations are brought up for women, which in fact amount to degradation and humiliation of women,” he said, reported Independent.
The Shia leader said Iranians should “resist feminist ideas” and consider Prophet Mohammed’s daughter Fatimah their “model woman”.
Khamenei is of the opinion that men and women are equal in the “ascendance of spiritual positions, the power of leadership, and the capability to lead humankind”, but that some tasks for women “collapse and humiliate” their primary roles as housewives and mothers.
Today, Western thinkers and those who pursue issues such as gender equality regret the corruption which it has brought about, he claims.
He expressed hope that views of those who raised similar [gender equality] issues inside Iran were not based on the Western misconception.
Although activists have launched movements like My Stealthy Freedom and rallying for it since a long time, but women have been detained for breaking a fatwa issued by Khamenei to ban women cycling in public – claiming it “attracts the attention of men and…contravenes women’s chastity”.
Even women have been arrested for posting “vulgar” photos without headscarves on Instagram.
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