By Mahmoud Hakamian
Women’s rights in Iran are despicable. The Iranian regime does not see women as valuable members of society and has ignored the feminist movement that sees women’s rights advancing every day all over the world. They are not allowed to attend certain social events if males are present, they do not have equality in the workplace, they have an imposed dress code and have even less freedom than their male counterparts.
There was a stage where things were looking up for women and they had access to facilities such as childcare centres so they could enter the workplace. However, with the rise of Supreme Leader Khomeini, all sorts of initiatives such as family planning were abolished. He considered that the tole of women was to remain in the home.
One of the most worrying aspects of life in Iran for women is forced marriage and forced child marriage. It is a horrifying practice that has resulted in many young women committing suicide over the past few years.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Women Committee has highlighted the case of several women who have recently committed suicide because of their circumstances.
The first case was that of 19 year-old Souma Khedri who took an overdose of rice pills on Wednesday 5th June. She was pushed into a forced marriage against her will with a member of her family. She was from the Baneh area in the western part of Iran and her family will not hand her body over to the local coroner’s office.
Just a week previous to this, 17 year-old Sara Esmaili committed suicide in the village of Pasveh. She too was forced into marrying a member of her own family against her will.
The Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), is working very hard to change the situation for women in Iran. Women play a huge role in the opposition group outside the country and in the Resistance Units inside the country.
The international community has a responsibility to call the regime out for its human rights violations. Leaders that uphold the value of women in society and respect their rights should call the regime out and hold it accountable for its antiquated laws that have no place in society anywhere in this world in this day and age.
The NCRI is run by a female, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, who has ensured that women have their rightful and equal place in the movement. She has made sure that the voice of women across the country in Iran is heard and she is making sure that they know that one day they will have the equality that they deserve.
Earlier this year, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Mrs. Rajavi spoke about the future Iran that is free of the clerical rule. She said that women will have equal opportunities, equal pay, equal rights, equal freedom and equal justice. She said that she will make sure that forced marriage and marriage below the legal age will not be permitted.