However, scratching below the surface, you’ll find that Iranian women are incredibly vulnerable to abuse under the misogynist theocratic rule of the mullahs, with escalating poverty, inadequate governmental programs, and increasing cultural and religious pressures actively harming the living conditions of Iran’s women and girls.
Many young girls are forced into prostitution and child marriages, deprived of an education and employment, and assaulted or raped for breaking “modesty” laws.
At least 40 girls and women in Iranshahr, which has a large population of ethnic Baluch-Iranians, reported being sexually assaulted last year, although that number is likely higher due to the number of girls who did not feel they could report because of shame, stigma, or fear of being arrested for the crime of raising public anxiety”.
Violence against women is not taken seriously, with women often brutally assaulted, sprayed with acid, or flogged for violating the Islamic dress code, which, to be clear, is not an invitation to rape or assault.
While, in a desperate attempt to escape poverty, many women are turning to (or being forced into) prostitution, with some parents even selling their young daughters’ virginities. The Regime is failing to address the underlying systemic issues that caused widespread poverty and instead lowering the marriageable age of girls to nine so that their parents can legally sell their daughters’ virginities without fear of being legally deemed child abusers.
Women are also widely discriminated against in the legal system, with their testimonies not believed and their cases rarely brought to trial, in education, where they can be prevented from entering a “male” course, the family, where they are often prevented from having custody of their children or from inheriting property.
This is why so many women turn to self-harm or suicide.
M. Greenblatt, the founder of the Alliance for Rights for All Minorities (ARAM-Iran), wrote: “The pain and suffering endured by the women of Iran are agonizing and real…But by and large, women of Iran are living a dark and harrowing life that most are keeping quiet… Unless the repressive and systematic persecution of women is eliminated and their urgent needs are addressed, women and girls will continue to grapple with questions of life and death rather than worrying about college entrance exams.”