Iranian Women Take a Stand: A Revolution for Equality

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While the Iranian government has been recovering from several consecutive political catastrophes, its citizens have waited patiently for the administration to rebound from the many recent downfalls. However, political figures are yet again prodding delicate boundaries as they attempt to further restrict the rights of the country’s women. Petitions have been signed; protests have been held, and leading activists have been sentenced to death. A revolution is in the making.

Although women’s rights in Iran have been significantly restricted since the late 1970s, the urgency to reach equality of the sexes is growing. When the new bill is put into effect, it will put women in yet another case of sub ordinance—while men are allowed to have more than one wife, the bill would allow husbands to marry without the current wife’s approval. If the she is absent for an extended period of time, she may be replaced almost effortlessly.

“We are worried that various groups, including women, can lose civil rights under tense political times like now,” Lawyer and women’s rights advocate told the New York Times. “We have no doubt that democracy will not be implemented without taking women’s rights into the consideration.”

The bill was passed last month, but recently more than 1200 Iranians petitioned against it. Women have been more involved with rallies and protests than ever before; many have been jailed and some even killed. Yet, Iranian women feel it is time to finally take a stand—for years they have faced public degradation and intimidation, concerning their physical appearance and mannerisms.

“It’s really hard to try and relate to the situation,” Senior Cameron Kuklick said. “I guess it’s a luxury in most countries, but being able to express yourself is a given here, even if what you think goes against common beliefs. It’s really unfair that these people are going through such an unnecessary, devastating situation. I really can’t imagine what it’s like for the women there.”

Since Iranian President Mohamoud Ahmadinejad has taken head of the legislature, the freedom of expression has been undermined to an extreme; bloggers and journalists face constant threats and daily harassment. In addition, punishments for activists have steepened, making life in prison or death sentences more and more likely for protestors voice the opinion of the Iranian common people.

“I don’t want them to put this bill into effect.” Junior Michael Gillette said. “It may not sound like the biggest issue, but it’s the reasoning behind that. If they’re willing to pass this bill then clearly they’re not worried about the women in their country. What’s next? What else are they willing to take away from their own people?”

Protests against Iran’s recent events are spreading across the globe; Iranians in specifically Los Angeles have been holding rallies in the Persian district of the city. As the bill looms over Iranian citizens, those from all nationalities mourn the loss of Iranian’s battle for equality.





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