Women’s oppression in Iran: Are we going back to a male-dominated society?


Women protest the Iranian regime at The Hague on Friday.LEX VAN LIESHOUT (AFP)

Author: Wardah Saleem Kashmiri MPHc,

This brutal reality brings us back in history to a time when the ignorant prevailed when baby girls were burnt alive.

A similar situation in Iran has risen and is giving us shivers down our spine as we hear of the killing of a 20-year-old young lady, who was arrested, beaten, harassed, and then killed by the so-called morality police for improper hijab. The news enraged many, especially the female residents of Iran, who have taken to the roads and are showing strength to help save their future.

An American Iranian writer who resides in Chicago and visited her birth country states, “The Islam I grew up in taught me that faith is a choice. What I see on Iran’s streets today — mandatory hijab being maintained at gunpoint — could not be further from what the government claims to represent. This is not about Islam or enforcing “morality” but about enforcing state power.” (KATEBI, 2022)

To see a nation succeed, educating and nurturing a woman is the key. She is a mother, daughter, nurturer by nature, and leader by internal instincts. Do not aim to straighten her by breaking her for she was created from the most bent rib of her man and her wrath once she is sent in fury can destroy the surroundings. Believe in her and invest in her for her to raise a generation of successful future leaders.

Iran is politically targeting women by controlling their life, their dress, and their wishes to step out of the house, and this is ending up nonbeneficial for the country as CNN has reported, “United Nations member states have removed Iran from a key UN women’s rights group just months after it joined.” (Hallam & Moshtaghian, 2022)

When the world is not supporting such heinous acts, the economy is affected, and the well-being and currency of the country are impacted and leaving the country with nothing but disaster. In my opinion, this will further create chaos for the targeted gender with frustrations being lashed out at them even more. Along with no support for such barbaric activities, taking action against the inhumane deed can come to a solution for both the country and the victims of that country.

Many in Iranian society have been pushed into poverty by the economic crisis that preceded the uprising, causing disproportionate hardship for women. The laws and policies of Iran constrain women’s access to employment including but not limited to restricting the professions they can pursue and depriving them of equal benefits.

As a first-world country and the power it holds, it would help if led to peaceful law signing and ending the policies and laws that reject women’s rights and freedom. Iran or overall, any country can accept that and make this world a safer place for women to reside and prevail.

A few decades ago, Iranian authorities attempted to marginalize women from public life. It is surprising that Iranian women are highly educated and have overcome many professional difficulties despite discrimination. In some cases, women have been able to achieve reforms that challenge inequitable policies and laws such as the dress code and sexual harassment. Despite this, they have been arrested, tortured, imprisoned, and even sentenced to death. There is notable irony in the arrest of the leaders of the “One Million Signatures” campaign, a key campaign to support gender equality that began in 2006 with the goal of gathering a million signatures from Iranians. (Begum, 2022)

If elected leaders have their say, this could make a huge difference. In a statement to CNN, “Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch added, “What’s needed is urgent coordinated pressure on Iran to end its campaign of violence, credible prosecutions of individuals who are directly responsible for these appalling violations of human rights, and an end to the severe discrimination against women.” (Hallam & Moshtaghian, 2022)

In Iran, girls and women are protesting discriminatory rules and clamoring for wholesale change in order to achieve their fundamental rights. It is imperative that the Iranian authorities – and the world – pay attention to them.


KATEBI, H. O. D. A. (2022, September 24). Op-Ed: Iranian women are rising up to demand freedom. Are we listening? https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-24/iran-protests-mahsa-amini-hijab-morality-police. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-24/iran-protests-mahsa-amini-hijab-morality-police

Hallam, J., & Moshtaghian, A. (2022, December 14). Iran expelled from UN commission on women. https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/14/middleeast/iran-expelled-from-un-womens-rights-body-

Begum, R. (2022, November 16). Iranian Women’s Demands for Freedom Must Be Heard. https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/11/16/iranian-womens-demands-freedom-must-be-heard. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/11/16/iranian-womens-demands-freedom-must-be-heard