Iran Protests: Role of women in protests of Dec. 2017 and Jan. 2018

Iran Protests: Role of women in protests of Dec. 2017 and Jan. 2018

Iranian courageous women played an important role in recent protests in Iran, these protests are continuing.

Here(in this video) is a collection of scenes from people’s uprising

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#iran, #iran-protests, #iran-uprising, #iran-women, #iranian-womens-struggle, #women

Iran: The Grim State of Women’s Sports

Women's report

The Grim State of Women’s Sports

Numerous reports emerged in November on wide-ranging issues and shed light on the abysmal conditions of women’s sports in Iran.

No budget for women’s sports2

Lack of financial support forced the women’s basketball team of Gorgan to refrain from participating in the cross-country games.

Gorgan is the capital of the northern Iranian province of Golestan.

The vice-president of the basketball delegation of Golestan said the team had 12 years of experience in professional sports. Soghra Mohebbi said, “The budget predicted for the participation of the women’s team in this tournament was 50 million toumans but no agency stepped forward to provide the budget for supporting the women’s team. One of their reasons was that the games are not broadcast by the national media so the private sector does not feel motivated to spend money on these games.” (The state-run radio and television news agency – November 17, 2016)

The Pars Jonoubi Jam football team did not participate in the league in November due to lack of budget, and their game was easily cancelled.

In October, the girls’ basketball team was removed from the Asian U16 games because of the Iranian federation’s $325K debt to FIBA. The team was to take part in the official event for the first time after 37 years. (The state-run ISNA news agency – October 21, 2017)

No media coverage allowed on women’s games

It is forbidden to broadcast women’s competitions in Iran.

The women’s national futsal team, champion of Asia, hosted Italy’s team in Tehran on November 23 and 24, 2017, while no photographers or cameramen were allowed in the stadium.

The only picture was taken at the end of the games in an empty stadium while Italian players had to cover their hair with pink shawls. (The state-run ISNA news agency – November 24, 2017)

No job security for female coaches3

The head coach of the women’s national futsal team complained of lack of job security. In reaction to the Football Federation’s objection, Shahrzad Mozaffar said, “If my contract was for 50% of male coaches’ contracts, I would confidently concentrate on the national team. If I have job security, I will stay with the team.  But if I quit my other job today as head coach of a club team, I would not have job security and a stable income.” (The state-run IRNA – November 23, 2017)

No adequate place for the games

Some of the teams participating in the Futsal League had not been allocated a field where they could play.

The fields where the games took place were peppered with holes and ditches making it impossible for the players to dribble.

It was also reported that the restrooms and locker facilities were not adequate for the teams to get ready for the game. (Iranwire news agency – November 3, 2017)

The Vice-President of Women’s Basketball, Fatemeh Karamzadeh, said the absence of a basketball court for women is a real predicament for women’s basketball. “In a country that so much underlines gender segregation in sports, women do not have even one court to play their games,” Karamzadeh admitted. (The state-run ISNA news agency, November 1, 2017)

No medical support for injured players4

Zeinab Karimi, footballer of the Kheibar women’s team of Khorramabad (capital of Lorestan Province in western Iran), experienced an inhuman treatment after being injured in the field and suffering a dislocated shoulder.

In an interview about her injury during the third week of women’s Football League she said, “I was injured in the 20thminute of the game. I remained suffering from pain beside the field until the end of the first half of the game. The supervisor did not even turn an eye on me. The ambulance driver came to me, but when I asked him to quickly take me to the hospital, he answered that ‘the supervisor does not allow this. Since you are not bleeding, we do not have permission to transfer you to hospital.’ After a while, I was taken to hospital by someone’s car.” “I waited for four hours in the hospital before being attended to because I had not been transferred by an ambulance. They did not even give me a chair to sit,” she lamented. (The state-run ISNA news agency – November 5, 2017)

Violation of FIFA universal rules

The Iranian Football Federation briefed the teams participating in the Women’s Football League that players would be shown the yellow card if they do not properly cover all their hair during the games. If repeated, they would be shown the red card and sent off the field.

Female champions are abandoned1

Atousa Abbasi, a bronze medal winner in the Asian Bicycling Race and a record holder in women’s speed cycling in Iran, had to peddle in the streets for a while due to financial problems. She has been deprived of participating in cycling tournaments due to breaches made by her husband who is a cycling coach. (The state-run Mashreq website – October 18, 2017)

Sousan Rashidi, who has been the champion of women’s kick boxing for eleven terms, is now training under difficult conditions for foreign tournaments. She is a nomad girl living in Kermanshah (western Iran). Due to poverty and lack of government support, she has to work in the village from early in the morning. She has to bake bread, take the sheep for grazing, bring log wood, etc. (The state-run Fararu website – October 18, 2017)

Ms. Rashidi says, “Some days, I did not have my transportation fare to go for training. Sometimes, if I were given some money to buy an egg to eat, I saved the money to pay for my transportation.”

“I became a champion for nine terms, but I did not receive any prize for these victories,” she added. (The state-run ISNA news agency – December 26, 2016)

Rock climber Elnaz Rekabi won the gold medal of women’s Asian Bold Ring Cup. (The state-run ISCAnews.ir – October 29, 2017)

In a short interview, she also complained about the difficulties of training without any government backing while being alone in her field. She said, “In Iran, I am very lonely. No one is ahead of me and they do not let me practice with boys.”

Elnaz Rekabi also spoke on the problems created by the requirement of wearing the compulsory veil. “It is very hard with the veil especially when the weather is hot. I tried to find some proper outfit for this sport to observe the dress code, as well, but I had to do it on my own.” (Interview with Euronews – Aparat.com– April 25, 2016)

Talented athletes drain

Horrible conditions for female athletes has led many to leave the country.5

Dorsa Derakhshani who had been banned from the Iranian national chess team for attending the February 2017 international competition in Gibraltar without wearing the mandatory veil, has joined the U.S. team.

Dorsa Derakhshani was awarded the titles Woman Grandmaster and International Master at the age of 18 by the World Chess Federation in 2016. She had taken part in several international competitions without covering her hair.

Dorsa moved to Spain in 2015 after she received an invitation by a chess club that also supported her studies. (The state-run ISNA news agency – October 2, 2017)

Faezeh Kazemi, Handball player from Qazvin Province, joined the Metropolitan team in Turkey in late November.

Ban on women’s presence in sports stadiums

Iranian women were refused entry to the World Cup football match that took place on September 5, 2017, at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium between the national teams of Syria and Iran.6

The Guardian wrote, “Syrian women are allowed into stadium but Iranian women are kept out, despite initially being allowed to buy tickets… A group of women who went to Tehran’s gigantic Azadi stadium were told they could not enter. When they started demonstrating they were threatened with arrest.”

The State Security forces expelled three young women who were attempting to enter Azadi Stadium to watch the football match between the two most prominent Iranian football teams.

The incident took place on October 26, 2017, when Persepolis and Esteghlal teams were scheduled to face off. The female fans had donned men’s clothes in a bid to enter the stadium. (The state-run Rokna.ir– October 26, 2017)

Shahindokht Molaverdi, Rouhani’s Deputy for Citizen’s Rights Affairs, had recently admitted that the conditions are not yet prepared for women’s presence in football stadiums. (The state-run Entekhab website – October 25, 2017)

The Iranian regime’s ban on entry of women to stadiums was also noted by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights on Iran. In Article 92 of her report, she wrote:

Women continue to be banned from watching sporting events in stadiums, and several female athletes have been restricted from participation in international tournaments either by State sporting agencies or by their husbands.

She also noted in her report that in March, a number of Iranian female billiard players were banned from competitions, allegedly for “violating the Islamic code of conduct.”

In April, female participants in an international marathon held in Tehran were required to run separately from men and on a shortened route.”

Khamenei and religious scholars weigh in

Religious scholars also underlined the prohibition of women’s entry to sports stadiums.

“The issue was tabled by the previous government but the Supreme Leader and other religious authorities opposed it,” stated Mullah Makarem Shirazi and added, “It is a deviation to bring up this issue, again.” (The state-run ISNA news agency – November 29, 2017)

Mullah Nouri Hamedani also tried to justify the ban by saying, “It is not permissible for men and women to be present in the same sports event because women cannot properly hold their veil.” (The state-run Razavi news agency – November 29, 2017)

The mullahs’ supreme leader Ali Khamenei also underlined the ban on women’s bicycling in public. Under the pretext of responding to religious questions, he reiterated, “Women’s bicycling in public areas and in places that could be seen by strange men is not allowed.” (The state-run ILNA news agency – November 26, 2017)7

The above facts which are a handful from a ton, show the numerous obstacles created by Iran’s ruling regime to exclude women from the sports arena. They also help one realize that Iran’s women are not only talented but really hard working and motivated to show their competence at every opportunity despite lack of any form of government support.

#iran-women, #iran-womens-rights, #ncri-womens-committee-monthly-report-november2017, #womens-sport

Theresia Bothe singing in solidarity with the women of Iranian Resistance

#iran-women, #iranian-resistance, #ncri, #solidarity, #women

Iran: Where the regime opposes women’s rights

Women pray for Iranian soldiers killed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war at the Imamzadeh Saleh shrine in Tehran on August 2, 2017. (Reuters)

Every year, the day November 25 comes as a grim reminder that we have a long way to go for achieving gender parity. There are still many countries in the world where women cannot fully exercise the right to shape their own destiny. Violence against women is another detestable vestige of the mostly patriarchal societies inherited by our generation.

It may seem that we have come a long way since the Dark Ages, but there are still some countries in the world that have made little progress in according equal rights to women and men. There is even a country where misogyny is the order of the day and where women have no legal rights.

It may come as a shock to many, but Iran continues to run in this way. The Iranian regime may keep up pretences in public on issues related to women’s rights, but in practice women remain second class citizens in that country.

Subhuman treatment of women

It is not difficult to prove that Iranian theocrats are opposed to the idea of gender equality. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has been quoted as saying: “Gender equality is ‘Zionist plot’ aimed at corrupting the role of women in society.” In Iran’s version of religious law, women are considered property.

Their inheritance is half of what men receive and women are not allowed to leave the country without their husband’s consent. They are also forced to observe a very strict dress code. There are several security measures in place in Iran to impose these laws. The most repressive one is the infamous ‘morality police’ that roams around cities arresting young women for not observing the dress code.

There are gruesome videos on YouTube and other social media showing how women are treated in Iran for what they wear. In a recent incident, a 14-year-old girl was beaten and detained for wearing ripped jeans in Iran (one of many such cases of police brutality against women). After her arrest by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Coups (IRGC) unit, she said: “I still carry the bruises sustained from their beatings on my face … my ribs still hurt.”

ANALYSIS: Iranian regime and its appalling violation of children’s rights

Women in Iran are also banned from entering sports stadiums. In a recently reported case by Human Rights Watch (HRW), a woman named Mina tried to get under the radar of security forces to watch a volleyball match in 2016. Despite her attempt to watch the match from the roof top of a café near a volleyball stadium, she and a few other women were caught by IRGC and were evicted from their vantage point.

Irrespective of their position in society, women in Iran have no right to travel without the consent of their husband or father. Hassan Rouhani and his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had once made bogus promises of giving women more rights in order to garner their votes. In May this year, Rouhani had spread the word that he might appoint a women minster in his cabinet. But soon after his sham election he did not include any woman in his cabinet.

Women in Iran are legally required to wear a hijab in public and this law is strictly enforced by morality police. (Photo courtesy: Iran Human Rights)

Iranian women defy repression

However, Iranian women seize every opportunity to show their resistance against their ill-treatment by the regime. After Khamenei’s ridiculous fatwa banning women from riding a bike in public last year, women in Iran came out in droves riding their bikes in defiance. According to the state-run media, Khamenei issued a decree on 10 September 2016 wherein he said: “Riding a bicycle often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption, and as contravenes women’s chastity so it must be abandoned”.

Since the first day of the installation of the regime, Iranian women have resisted their attempts at oppression. Back in the day, Iran like other countries of the Middle East could hardly imagine any role for women other than staying at home and taking care of children.

One woman took the lead in this struggle for freedom which was no longer about just freeing Iranian women but the entire Iranian society, which was taken hostage by the regime. Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an educated woman has done the impossible and instilled thousands of Iranian men and women with the idea that all citizens in the country can struggle for a common cause: Freedom.

ALSO READ: Iran Guards ‘recruiting Afghan children as young as 14’ to fight in Syria

She has proven through her leadership role that the same deprived and underprivileged woman is no different than her male counterpart in struggling for a free and democratic society. She has built a blueprint for building a better Iran with her 10-point plan, wherein women are deemed fully equal to men in all spheres of social activity.

There would be no limits for women in this new Iran. Filling the highest political positions will no longer be just a dream for women. The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) — the biggest Iranian opposition group and a member of the NCRI — has followed her teachings for years and is now led by her.

Violence against women in Iran is institutionalized simply because half of the society is treated as crippled and in need of guidance from men; be it the male head of the family or males in the state itself. Thus, the status of women will never change in Iran as long as the present regime is in power.

______________________
Reza Shafiee (@shafiee_shafiee) is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Source: Iran: Where the regime opposes women’s rights

#human-rights-violations, #iran, #iran-women, #iran-womens-rights, #ncri, #women

Iran: Forced marriage of small girls is on the rise

Forced marriage of young girls is on the rise in East Azerbaijan Province, northwestern Iran. This was announced by the deputy for cultural and youth affairs in the Department of Sports and Youths of East Azerbaijan.  Amir Taghizadeh said girl children between 10 and 15 years of age are forced into marriage.

“About 4,000 girls between 10 and 15 years of age got married in 2015. The figure reached 4,164 in 2016,” he noted.Taghizadeh also revealed that these girls are forced to marry men between 29 and 35 years of age. “East Azerbaijan is second to Khorassan Razavi province in marriage of girl children aging between 10 and 15.” He pointed out that divorce rate is high in child marriages. (The state run Kayhan newspaper – September 5, 2017 )

Forcible_marriage_EN

#children-marriages, #human-rights, #iran-women, #iran-womens-rights

Iranian women – onerous path to achieve freedom

During the past 38 years, Iranian women have been suppressed in both law and practice.

All the fundamental rights of women have ceaselessly been violated by ideologically motived laws, which are approved by fundamentalist clerics who believe that a woman is worth half of a man. This means, for example, that if a woman dies in an accident, then her family receives only half compensation.

Tahere-227x300

Tahere Qurratu l-Ayn

In historic terms, although clerics have always tried to restrict Iranian women, those women have never given up against Islamic fundamentalist rules. One of the Iranian woman who broke the taboo and challenged all traditional religious laws was Tahere Qurratu l-Ayn. She lived in the nineteenth century and was executed in 1852 by fundamentalist clerics.

At the moment, women in Iran suffer greatly under the Iranian regime, as the theocracy views them as second-class citizens. They face many restrictions, such as compulsory hijab, to be under the tutelage of a man, gender barriers, and systematic discrimination and marginalisation.

A few months after the popular revolution in 1979, the founder of “the Islamic Republic”, Khomeini, decreed compulsory hijab in all governmental offices. However, in 1983, the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the parliament) legislated a repressive law that imposed penalties for women who do not observe the compulsory dress code. Despite Hassan Rouhani, a purported “moderate” president, holding office, the Iranian regime has continued to use morality police to enforce this repressive law. For example, few weeks ago, a young woman was run over by police for improper veiling. If a woman resists against the morality police, she will be arrested. According to some reports, a majority of women who are arrested by the morality police are subjected to sexual harassment.

There is also an exploiter law, which is officially known as Non-compliance. If a woman refuses to have sex with her husband, she can be sentenced by the court. Some fundamentalist clerics say that husbands can and should punish their wives for “such violation”.

There are other medieval laws in place, such as inheritance and testimony. A woman’s inheritance is half of that of a man’s. The same goes for women’s testimony in a court, as its worth half of a man. This means that there must be at least two women who testify on a matter in the court, if they expect their testimony to be heard and approved.

For Iran’s religious dictatorship, freedom for women is a red-line. It is a known fact that the clerics do not believe that a woman can or is fit to be a president or a judge. Consequently, the regime’s constitution bars women from standing as a candidate for a presidential election or being a judge.

Another example of religiously motivated suppression is the suppression of Baha’is. The ruling clerics and their laws consider Baha’is as an enemy of God “Mohareb”. There are many prohibitions against them in the Iranian society, such as an education ban and deprivation of all public service. Many of their leaders are also imprisoned, because they challenge these repressive laws.

Overall, despite international warnings in recent years, the condition of human rights has gotten worse in Iran. This is proven by the fact that Iran is one of the few countries that have a Special Rapporteur appointed by the United Nations. This Special Rapporteur has the mandate to monitor and report on the human rights situation in the country. The Iranian regime and its allies in the UN used many resources to try to prevent this appointment.

How the Iranian women resist against mullah’s regime?

Despite the suppression, the women in Iran continue to protest gender discrimination and challenge the repressive laws. In Iran, women form the core of a historical resistance against the theocracy. Women play a key role in the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), which terrifies the ruling theocracy. Between 1981 and 1988, tens of thousands of political prisoners were executed. A majority of those killed were members of the Iranian opposition group, officially known as the PMOI. It is obvious that during the massacre, women were a huge portion of the victims. But women are still being arrested for supporting the PMOI and they are being sentenced to long prison sentences as a result.

maryam-akbari-monfared

Maryam Akbari-Monfared

A prisoner of conscience, Maryam Akbari-Monfared, 48, was arrested in December 2009 and is serving a 15 year-prison sentence after being accused of supporting the PMOI. “She is facing reprisals after filing a formal complaint that seeks an official investigation into the mass killings of political prisoners, including her siblings, in the summer of 1988,” according to a statement by Amnesty on November 3, 2016.She was said that her conviction was only because of her family’s role in the PMOI.

In fact, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the broader opposition coalition for establishing freedom and democracy in Iran that includes the PMOI, is led by a Muslim woman, Maryam Rajavi, which is unique for the Middle East. This means that Iranian women are at the forefront of the struggle for democracy in Iran.

She has presented a 10-point democratic platform for the future of Iran that envisions complete gender equality in political and social rights and is committed to the equal participation of women in political leadership. This platform will abolish any form of discrimination against women and the compulsory dress code. It also establishes the separation of the church and the State, prohibiting any form of discrimination against the followers of all religions and denominations.

This platform represents a viable alternative to the current theocracy and should be recognized and supported by the international community.

via  Iranian women – onerous path to achieve freedom — The Media Express

#1988-massacre, #iran, #iran-women, #iran-womens-rights, #maryam-akbari-monfared, #maryam-rajavi, #maryam-rajavis-10-point-plan, #mek, #ncri, #pmoi, #women

Iran: Women Face Bias in the Workplace

Iranian Women

The law also requires a husband’s permission for married women to obtain a passport

Capture

Discriminatory Laws, Practices

(Beirut) May 25, 2017  – Laws and policies that discriminate against women interfere with Iranian women’s right to work, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Friday. Women confront an array of restrictions, such as on their ability to travel, prohibitions on entering certain jobs, and an absence of basic legal protections.

The 59-page report, “‘It’s a Men’s Club’: Discrimination Against Women in Iran’s Job Market,” examines in detail the discriminatory provisions and insufficient protections in Iran’s legal system that represent obstacles to women’s equal access to the job market. Over the past four decades, Iranian women have become half of the country’s university graduates. But, based on the most recent official statistics available, for the period between March 2016 and March 2017, only 14.9 percent of Iran’s women are in the workforce, compared with 64.1 percent of men. This rate is lower than the average of 20 percent for all women in the Middle East and North Africa. The unemployment rate for women, currently 20.7 percent, is double that for men.

Laws and policies that discriminate against women interfere with Iranian women’s right to work. Women confront an array of restrictions, such as on their ability to travel, prohibitions on entering certain jobs, and an absence of basic legal protections.
“Iranian women’s achievements in higher education demonstrate their capability and passion to be equal partners in building a better country, but discriminatory laws are holding them back,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities have started to acknowledge these problems, but they should take the necessary steps to remove the barriers that are pushing women to the margins of the workforce.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed 44 women and men, including lawyers, small business owners, hiring managers, employees in public and private sectors, and economic experts who currently live in Iran or have recently left the country and have participated in or have studied Iran’s job market. The report also analyzes Iranian laws, policies, and officials’ statements.

 

“It’s a Men’s Club”

Discrimination Against Women in Iran’s Job Market

Iran’s civil code is a major source of legal discrimination against women in the workforce. The civil code considers the husband the head of the household, giving him control over his wife’s economic choices, including the right to prevent his wife from working under certain conditions.

“I am a woman who has invested so much time on education and can’t imagine myself without my profession,” a woman who is a lawyer and university lecturer told Human Rights Watch. “By pressuring me to leave my job, my husband wants to take away part of my identity.”
Several lawyers said that during divorce court proceedings, husbands frequently try to gain an advantage by accusing their wives of working without their consent or in jobs they deem unsuitable.

The law also requires a husband’s permission for married women to obtain a passport. Some employers interviewed said they are unlikely to hire women for jobs that require extensive travel because of this restriction.

Iran’s social security regulations also discriminate against working women, requiring a woman to prove that her husband is unemployed or has a disability or that she is the sole guardian of their children before she can get equal or family benefits.

Many job vacancy announcements specify gender preferences based on arbitrary and discriminatory criteria, especially for technical and managerial jobs.
Thousands of public sector positions are filled through exams administered by a state evaluation administration. In a Human Rights Watch analysis of the 7,026 advertised vacancies for the past three public service entrance exams, about 60 percent specified a preference for a male hire and only 5 percent specified a female hire.

Shahindokht Mowlaverdy, the country’s vice president for women and family affairs, brought the discrimination to the government’s attention in April 2015. President Hassan Rouhani , in response, postponed a July 2016 exam for 2,545 vacancies. The exam will be held in November 2017, with 300 more positions open to women. While this is a minor improvement, it falls far short of eliminating ongoing discrimination against women in hiring practices in the public sector, Human Rights Watch said.

Iranian women’s achievements in higher education demonstrate their capability and passion to be equal partners in building a better country, but discriminatory laws are holding them back.

Women interviewed described a similar experience in the private sector. Many felt that their chances of getting hired or promoted to management positions are lower. “Once my boss told me to come and explain my views in a meeting, but then he immediately retracted his suggestion, saying that it’s not a good idea since it’s a men’s club,” said a mid-level employee at a consulting firm.

A lack of adequate legal protection also contributes to obstacles for women in the workforce. According to Iranian officials’ statements, more than 48,000 women have lost their jobs after using their legal maternity leave. Managers and employees interviewed said they were not aware of any anti-sexual harassment policies at their workplace, and women reported instances of sexual harassment and arbitrary enforcement of discriminatory dress codes.

Women are also severely underrepresented in the decision-making process. They currently only occupy 5.8 percent of seats at parliament, while the Guardian Council, a body of Islamic jurists responsible for vetting candidates for elections, has effectively barred women from running for the highest elected office in the country. The Council rejected all women who wanted to run for president in the May 19 national elections.
Iran should immediately adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, eliminate discriminatory provisions in the current legal system, and extend equal protections to women who participate in the job market, Human Rights Watch said.

Private companies and foreign investors also have an obligation to ensure equal practices are in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They should proactively create and enforce clear policies prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, ensure gender equality in hiring and promotion, and provide equal access to professional development opportunities.

In his campaign for reelection, Rouhani strongly criticized the country’s gender inequality.
“Now that President Rouhani has been elected for the second term, he should make good on his promises of equality,” Whitson said. “Giving Iran’s women the protection and equal rights they deserve is long overdue.”

Source: Iran: Women Face Bias in the Workplace

#human-rights, #human-rights-violations, #iran, #iran-women, #iran-womens-rights, #women