Gender Equality in Iran In today’s society the world is full of a wide variety of people who come from different social backgrounds, who are various races, and also have different stories. In a world full of diversity some might think that people would come to an understanding and be united to be ‘equal’ when it comes to gender inequality, but that is far from true. But, the inequality of people based off of race or background is a big issue.
Since the beginning of time, cultural practices have formed boundaries. There has constantly been a separation of women and men in the way they are brought up and how they are taught even down to what occupations they decide to take on. Gender equality should be considered a basic human right, but our society continues to face a constant divide in access to opportunities and decision-making between women and men. In some countries across the world, women are oftentimes presented with fewer opportunities than men.
For example, women are less involved in economic participation, they have less access to a better education, have greater health and safety risks, and less political representation. Both male and females are accepted by society to play certain roles and behave in a specific way based on traditions, religion, and other beliefs. These behaviors are learned and have framed the gender norms in today’s society. This essay will analyze the everyday life of an Islamic woman living in Iran.
After reading you will be amazed by what these women have endured and continue to endure through their everyday lives in a country they call home. Women’s rights in the Middle Eastern country Iran is definitely a controversial issue. Although the rights of women have altered over the past couple of years, they have never been equal to the rights of a man in Iran. As a result, this may pose a threat to Iran because the women there has a very limited selection when it comes to labor, marriage, and other aspects of their culture.
Yet, in some countries such as Iran, bias practices against women are not only common but in some cases, they are required by law. Gender inequalities are still deep-rooted in the Iranian society. Women in Iran are treated as second-class citizens, and they are not receiving their fundamental rights but the governmental authorities choose to neglect that women can’t enter stadiums and the simple fact that there are gender barriers still prevalent in Iran.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, women have been outlawed from watching soccer also known as football in Iran; in person, in public, and or in stadiums, because authorities say they must protect the women of Iran from the masculine atmosphere and to protect them from hearing fans swear. The country’s largest non-religious society has laid back restriction as part of a political movement demanding that people should have more personal liberties. Soccer is Iran’s most popular sport, with wrestling and volleyball following closely behind.
The Iranian soccer team is called Melli, which means “the nation’s team.” Women often time will disguise themselves as men, with fake beards and mustaches, to gain entry to stadiums to support their home team. Those who are successful in getting inside the stadium have been applauded and cheered on as national trailblazers. Some business owners in Iran have risked fines and even being arrested to show the national soccer team play for a crowd of men and women.
Iran’s government officials it made clear after the match that women will not be allowed to attend any future sporting events. The country’s prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, is an unelected government official who obeys by the supreme leader rulings and said he will force the Tehran government to prosecute any stadium employer who allows women into men’s sporting events. Iranian women are allowed to watch other sports such as volleyball, tennis, basketball, and handball.
The reasoning behind the limitation to watch football in stadiums are related to the religious thoughts of the government. The government of Iran thinks that if women and men attend stadiums, which can be populated by more than 80 thousand fans for each match, provide an environment for sins. Nothing can justify this inequality, even if this were to be true, they could deprive men to watch football for some games.
Therefore, women could be in the stadiums without any man and without sin. The inequality is not only for sports, but it is also intertwined with most the aspects of living in Iran. Another big limitation for women in Iran is their involvement in politics. Although they can vote, they cannot be president. This limitation implies that women are not strong enough to make critical decisions for the country.
Not only can the women of Iran not be president, but they cannot be a judge. Reason being is that women are more emotional and cannot make decisions wisely. The decision can be affected by suspects outcome. For Iranian women, their rights and legal status have drastically changed since the early 2000s. The rights of women in Iran are very limited compared to the women in more developed countries. The legal rights of women have gone through several changes during the past three political terms in Iran. During the Qajar, the royal dynasty that ruled Iran from the late 1800s to the early 2000s were not committed to gaining an understanding of women in politics and the women became more isolated and their economic contribution was limited only to household work.
These terms shifted gears to form a great extent during the Pahlavi term from the years of 1925-1979 where women had an abundance of freedom, but that freedom soon retracted after the Iranian revolution in 1979. The hopes for the future when it comes to women attending sporting events and possibly becoming president or a judge are very promising. This past summer, the women of Iran were awarded the chance to attend the world cup in over 40 years.
Iranian women were allowed to watch a World Cup match on a big screen in Tehran’s Azadi stadium in June, and last month dozens of women watched their national team play Bolivia, according to an advocacy group, Center for Human Rights in Iran. Even though the Iranian women were allowed to attend this year’s world cup, this opportunity was a one-time thing.
There is no explicit rule that allows foreign women to attend soccer games. In terms of hope for the future for Iranian being able to become president or possibly even a judge is also promising but not as promising as it is for the women of Iran being able to attend soccer games. Although the women of Iran are legally entitled to hold most jobs, it still remains a male-dominated environment.
As mentioned before, they cannot run for president or become judges but in the past few years, they have started to work in police and fire departments. “Gender equality does not mean that women and men will become the same, but that women and men will become the same, but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female”(Forbes).
Providing equal opportunities for the women of the world lets them use and explore their talents in the workplace, harness creativity, and most importantly not only make better choices for themselves but their families and community as well. Gender equality not only is a human right, but a crucial part of a solid foundation for a peaceful, well off, and sustainable world.
- Taheri, Kaveh. “Iranian Women Still Denied Fundamental Rights.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 4 Apr. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/kaveh-taheri/iranian-women-still-denie_b_9607430.html.
- “Women’s Rights, Freedoms and Equality for Women in Future Iran.” Who Is Maryam Rajavi ? | Biography, Everything About Her Life, Values & Vision, www.maryam-rajavi.com/en/viewpoints/women-rights-iran.
- Hoodfar, Homa, and Shadi Sadr. “Islamic Politics and Women’s Quest for Gender Equality in Iran.” Third World Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 6, 2010, pp. 885–903., doi:10.1080/01436597.2010.502717.