Tuesday, 10 March 2009

IMHRO: 8 of March 2009: 30 Years on Women Rights on Iran

Iranian Minorities’ Human Rights Organisation (IMHRO)



The 8 March 2009 was the 30th International Women’s Day since Iran’s 1979 Revolution. The revolution marked the start of an era of severe discrimination against women in Iran. The first act of discrimination was a ban on women singing. Female singers were no longer broadcast on the radio or television. It did not end there; some singers were arrested and many were forced to flee.

Women banned from the job in army and police force and those who were employee forced to resign without any pensions.

Next stage was to force them to wear Islamic Hijab. Many women artists banned from plying in theatre and cinema, because they played in pre revolution movies. Few actress committed suicide.

Soon later segregations of men from female started. Female section in buses, all the girls and boys school separated, in universities class rooms divided, son later girl’s parks and hospitals started.

Women who worked in sex industry burnt life to death. All natural relation between men and women banned, death sentence by Stoning started again, many for having a boy friend stoned to death.

Soon after revolution after persecution of political parties started many of their members who were young female found themselves in prisons and in hand of ruthless interrogators. Non believers in prisoners forced to pray 5 times a day. Many were executed after long years of torture. Tragically, many women were raped before execution. The motivation for raping these women was that, under Sharia law, it is believed that virgins will go to paradise and that women who have had extra-marital sex will go to hell.

Islamic law discriminates against women in Iran. IMHRO researcher Reza Washahi told IMHRO: “for example, according to Islamic law in Iran, if a child is killed after four month’s of pregnancy, Dieh or blood money should be paid. If the child is a baby girl the amount of money that should be paid is half the price is paid for male babies! Even before birth a female is subjected to discrimination; after birth she will face all sorts of prejudice.”

Equality in divorce, inheritance, sexual harassment, witnessing in court, mothers right, employment and education are some example of type of problems facing against women right in Iran. Especially In some ethnic minority areas women also have to contend with strong traditions of forced marriage, honour killing, female circumcisions and the banning of women from higher education.

Over recent years Iran has seen the development of a grassroots women’s rights movement. IMHRO supports this movement wholeheartedly and calls upon the international community to support it as well.

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