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Maryam Rajavi and the Rights of Women in Iran

By Mahmoud Hakamian

Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, is committed to improving the lives of all Iranians in a future free Iran, but today, we will look at her commitment to women’s rights. Here are the ten ways Maryam Rajavi plans to improve women’s status in Iran.

Fundamental freedoms and rights

Maryam Rajavi believes that women should have the same human rights and fundamental freedoms as men, which means that discrimination on gender, religion, social class, ethnicity, or anything else will be banned.

Maryam Rajavi believes that women should be free to make their own decisions when it comes to where to live, what job to take, what education to take, where to travel, what to wear, who to marry, whether to have children, whether to obtain foreign citizenship and what faith to practice.

Equality before the law

Maryam Rajavi believes that women should have the same protection of the law as men and should have access to guaranteed judicial recourse in cases of violence, rape, discrimination, and deprivation of liberty.

Maryam Rajavi asserts that women need to have equal rights as men before the courts, that their testimony should be considered equal to a man’s, and that the age of criminality should be raised to 18 for everyone.

Freedom to choose clothing

Maryam Rajavi says that government interference in women’s clothing choices should be banned and the forced veiling law repealed, along with any law that permits an employer to force employees to wear the hijab.

Equal participation in political leadership

Maryam Rajavi thinks that women should be able to participate “in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government” and that they should have the right to equal participation in the country's political leadership.

In order to get rid of inequality, Maryam Rajavi says that the government must appoint women for at least half of its posts and political parties must choose at least half their candidates from among women for elections.

Equality in the economic sphere

Maryam Rajavi says that women should enjoy the same rights as men in terms of inheritance, entering contracts, management of property, and the labour market, including job security and complete benefits.

Maryam Rajavi says that women should be equal with men in terms of their ability to access housing, appropriate nutrition, medical services, and employment, as well as athletic and artistic endeavours.

Equality in the family

Maryam Rajavi believes that in order to give women equality in the family sphere, they must have the freedom to choose whom they marry, whether they want to divorce, and marriage before the legal age should be banned, along with polygamy. Women should also have rights in the custody of their children.

Maryam Rajavi would ban government inquisition and meddling in women private lives.

Prohibition of violence

Maryam Rajavi believes that rape should be considered a crime at all time with no exceptions. She would also ensure that all other violence against women, as well as acts of intimidation or forcible deprivation of their freedoms, are considered crimes.

Prohibition of sexual exploitation

Maryam Rajavi would ban the sex trade and make sure that any form of sexual exploitation of women is made illegal. She would also ensure that anyone committing sexual crimes against children is prosecuted.

Repealing Mullahs’ Sharia laws

Maryam Rajavi would repeal the mullahs’ Sharia laws, which among other horrible things, authorises violence against women for things like adultery and lesbianism.

Social benefits

Maryam Rajavi knows that women need to have access to social benefits, including for retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, maternity leave and pay, and childcare. She would prevent employers from firing pregnant women or requiring them to perform harmful jobs.

Maryam Rajavi would also give enjoy special financial, educational and medical support to women who are:

• from a minority group

• refugees or immigrants

• living in remote areas

• prisoners

• disabled

• under 18

• elderly

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