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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

or their families; the amount to be paid for a Muslim woman is half that of a Muslim man.84 The age of criminal responsibility for girls is nine lunar years while boys are not considered adults under criminal law until they have reached 15 lunar years. Men have complete immunity from punishment for murdering adulterous wives and their lovers. Women convicted of adultery may be stoned to death.85 Fathers and paternal grandfathers who kill their children or grandchildren are only subject to payment of blood money and punishment in the discretion of the court.86

2. Targeting of Women's Rights Activists in Lead-Up to the June 2009 Election

In 2009, the Guardian Council again rejected the candidacies of women in the presidential election.87 However, opposition candidate platforms and positions often included issues of female equality that reflected pressure from women's rights groups.88 The regime responded by arresting, interrogating, imprisoning, and harassing activists and their defenders." 89

2.1 Promises by Presidential Candidates

The women's rights community compelled candidates to carefully articulate their positions on women's rights.90 The "Coalition of the Women's Movement to Set Forth Demands in the Election" made two fundamental demands of the presidential candidates: (1) that Iran ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and (2) that they try to "remove all discriminatory laws against women and especially revision and amendment of articles 19, 20, 21 and 115 of the Constitution in order to include the principal of unconditional gender equality."91 Women's rights activists attended

[84] Id. arts. 76, 300, 630.
[85] Khorasani, supra note 73, at 119, 122. Iran Penal Code, supra note 83, arts. 83, 630.
[86] Iran Penal Code, supra note 83, arts. 283, 20; Khorasani, supra note 73, at 121. Qisas, lit. retribution or lex talionis, is a punishment equivalent to the crime committed. Ta'zir or discretionary punishments are those that are not designated in Shari'a and are instead left to the discretion of the judge. See Iran Penal Code, supra note 83 arts. 14, 16. If a father kills his child, his discretionary punishment will be between three to ten years' imprisonment. Id. art. 612.
[87] Article 115 of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Constitution states that the president of Iran must be elected from among religious and political "rejal" who posses certain qualities. The term "rejal" literally means "men" but it can also symbolize "people" which has been the argument of religious and politically active women who have tried to submit their candidacies for president. On April 11, 2009, the Guardian Council publicly clarified that "rejal" could mean a man or woman and that women were not, and had not been, precluded from submitting their candidacies for the presidency. Kandidaturiyih Zanan Barayih Riyasat Jumhuri Man'i-i Qanuni Nadarad [There is no Legal Prohibition on Candidacy of Women for Presidential Election], Mehr News Agency, April 11, 2009, available at http://www.mehrnews.com/fa/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=858179.
[88] Video File: Musahibihyih Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh dar Tilivision-i Sidayih America [Interview of Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh with Voice of America Television], Voice of America, March 8, 2010, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkKY_URyVE0; see also Women's Movement: A Model for the Green Movement, Gozaar, June 11, 2010, available at http://www.gozaar.org/english/articles-en/Women-s-Movement-A-Model-for-the-Green-Movement.html.
[89] Document - Iran: Ensure Free Presidential Election, Amnesty International, May 15, 2009, available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/046/2009/en.
[90] Sussan Tahmasebi, Why Focus on Women's Rights?, National Public Radio, June 5, 2009, available at http://www.npr.org/blogs/sundaysoapbox/2009/06/women_rights_factors_in_irans.html.
[91] Hamgara'iyih Junbish-i Zanan Barayih Tarh-i Mutalibat dar Intikhabat [Coalition of Women's Movement To Advocate Electoral Demands], Asre-Nou, April 25, 2009, available at http://asre-nou.net/php/view.php?objnr=3081. See also Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani's comments on the creation of a "coalition of women's movement to advocate electoral demands" and its success in shaping the issues of import in the June 2009 presidential race. How Social Movements Can Change Iran, Znet, June 12, 2009, available at http://www.zcommunications.org/how-social-movements-can-change-iran-by-noushin-ahmadi-khorasani.

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Sexual Violence, Gender Rights, Death Penalty, Political Killings, Executions, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Travel Restrictions, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Protests, Free Association, Child Rights, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination