Iran’s Escalating Assault on Women

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At that time, women activists began organizing university sit-ins, street demonstrations and petition campaigns for gender equality, efforts which reached new heights in 2009 as thousands of women marched in the forefront of the protests following Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election.

Those demonstrations, which gave rise to Iran’s Green Movement and its centric calls to democracy and human rights, came at a fierce price, as the Iranian government brutally beat and arrested thousands, including 300 women who currently languish as political prisoners in Iranian prisons.

Unfortunately, those women will soon enjoy the company of one more, 42-year-old Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist, Zhila Bani-Yaghoub, who recently left to serve a one-year sentence at Iran’s Evin prison.

Zhila’s seditious crimes included charges of “spreading propaganda against the regime” and “insulting” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in articles she wrote at the time of Iran’s 2009 presidential elections.

At Evin Prison, Bani-Yaghoub will be reunited with 34 of her friends and journalistic colleagues, all of whom reside in one small room, an unsurprising fact given Iran’s reputation as one of the world’s worst jailers of women.

One example of Iranian correctional horrors was offered by a former guard at Evin prison, who said guards would marry female virgin prisoners the night before their scheduled executions given that it is illegal in Iran to execute a woman who is a virgin.

As such, the Iranian government would arrange a “wedding” ceremony to be conducted the night before an execution, at which point the guard would rape his new “wife” to make it acceptable to then put her to death. Not surprisingly, the former guard said the girls feared the night of the rape more deeply than their upcoming executions.

Ironically, Zhila Bani-Yaghoub’s trip to Evin prison came days after Iran finished hosting the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit, a recent gathering in which the member countries discussed ways to “eliminate international problems.”

At that conference Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi took the time to extol the positive contributions that Iran has made to the cause of women’s rights, when he said, “One of the goals of the glorious Revolution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was the improvement of women’s genuine position and standing in the society, and we can witness its materialization after 32 years.”

Moreover, that enlightened development, according to Iran’s First Lady A’zamossadat Farahi, could now provide a roadmap for those nations struggling with the vexing problem of women’s rights, saying, that Iran “enjoys valuable experiences in various areas of women’s affairs,” experiences the Islamist Republic could “share with other countries.”

Of course, for a growing number of oppressed and brutalized Iranian women and girls, they have their own “valuable experiences” in women’s affairs, ones which the Iranian government is loath to share.

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  • Bamaguje

    Iran's tyrannical Islamist establishment feels particularly threatened by the resounding success of Iranian women in university education – outperforming Muslim men – because such success by intelligent women directly contradicts and flies in the face of Islam.

    “Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made one superior over the other…” – Q 4:34

    This Islamic male supremacy explains why in Sharia courts a woman's evidence is worth only half that of a man (Quran 2:228). Furthermore, in the Hadith, Mohammed is quoted as saying women are "deficient in intelligence", which is why most of them are destined for hellfire:

    "I (Mohammed) have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hellfire are women…as they are ungrateful to their husbands and they are deficient in intelligence" – Sahih Bukhari 2:18:161; 7:62:125, 1:6:301.

  • Chezwick

    So where are the Western feminists in academe who might be exposing this blatant discrimination against women? Oh, right….they're busy traveling to Darul Islam, donning the Niqab, and then announcing to the world how "liberating" it feels. Of course, they get to come home, return to normal attire,…and go on to pursue happiness (career goals, personal and sexual satisfaction, etc), while the Muslim sisters they left behind remain trapped in the stultifying, misogynist prison of Islam.

    No sir, Western feminists are not the least bit interested in helping to liberate Muslim women from the shackles of Islam. They long ago abandoned ALL women (witness Nicole Brown Simpson) and instead, concentrated their efforts and resources fighting against "institutionalized racism", "American imperialism", and other leftist tropes.

    So it is, the fight to defend women worldwide has fallen on us conservatives. We accept the task proudly and enthusiastically.

  • guest

    Enlightened cultures see women as equals. This is clearly not one.

  • Joe Ordinary

    Let's just say that Mohamad and Jesus had different approaches to women.

  • Ghostwriter

    Somehow,I'm not surprised that Iran is doing this. Not in the slightest.

  • johnnywoods

    If it were not so serious it would be laughable at how the Iranian culture has "raised the status of women" through adherance to Islamic faith. What a buch of ignorant beasts.

  • Brian C

    I like how you forgot to mention the reason Iran has the highest % of female college grads in the world, is because so many young men are getting killed. The level of misandry in this article and lack of empathy for those young men is extremely sad.

    But, hey women aren't allowed to entry some careers, will only get 55-60% of college degrees and have to cover themselves up when they go in public. So forget those young 18-22 year old men being force to fight and die. Obviously, the problem is men here and not corrupt leaders.

    Shaking my head. This is what feminism looks like. Iran's assault on women… apparently women getting college degrees is more important then young men's lives.