Hysterical Enmity toward Women

NCRI Women’s Committee Report: Regime’s Laws Demonstrate “Hysterical Enmity toward Women”

Hysterical Enmity toward Women

The MEK and NCRI have put women at the forefront of the movement’s leadership.

Last month the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) published a full accounting of the specific laws the Iranian regime uses to oppress and subjugate women. “Institutionalized misogyny in the laws of the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran” is an update of a November 2015 report and includes new laws that have since been passed to crack down on women’s freedom.

Some of the most egregious violations of women’s rights included in the report are listed below. The report does not include systemic abuses of women such as poverty and homelessness that have resulted from these policies, as no one report could comprehensively detail the extent of the damage done to women by the fundamentalist regime’s perverted interpretation of Islam.

Marriage and Family

  • The legal age of marriage for girls was lowered to nine.
  • Girls under the age of nine may be forcibly married with the approval of her father and a judge.
  • Wives must live wherever the husband chooses.
  • Women are not allowed to leave home, work, or travel without their husband’s permission.
  • Men may have multiple wives. The wives must divide a single share of their inheritance upon his death. This inheritance is already half that of any male heirs.
  • Women must have government permission to marry a foreign national.
  • Women are only granted custody of their children if the child’s father and grandfather are not present. Even then, the mother must be deemed “qualified.”


  • The testimony of one man is equal to that of two women accompanied by a male witness.
  • Men are held liable for crimes at 15, while women are held liable at 9.
  • Women may be executed for killing a man, while men may escape justice for killing a woman unless blood money is paid.
  • Men are legally allowed to kill their children and grandchildren.
  • There are no laws against rape or domestic violence, but women are prosecuted for defending themselves.
  • Women who are found in violation of veiling laws may be imprisoned or fined, or have their work hours reduced.


  • Women inherit half as much as men.
  • Women are prohibited from working at night and must observe gender segregation in the workplace.

Second-class Citizens

Less than one month after the anti-monarchic revolution that removed the Shah from power, regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini shocked Iranian women with a mandate that all female government employees must wear hijabs. The May 8, 1979 announcement came one day before International Women’s Day and was a sharp departure from Khomeini’s pre-Revolution promises to the Iranian people who had fought for freedom.

Within months, Iranian women found themselves relegated to second-class citizenship. Khomeini’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) ruthlessly enforced veiling laws, chanting, “Either the veil or a hit on the head,” and women were not allowed to escape the country or even their own homes without their husbands’ permission.

Iranian women have struggled to regain their freedom since that day in May, and the MEK has fought alongside them. The MEK and NCRI have put women at the forefront of the movement’s leadership because women understand the toll the regime’s “deviated, backward interpretation of Islam” has taken on the country.

“One can see the fundamentalist mullahs trying to turn back the wheels of history,” the report states. The MEK and the NCRI aim to end this reign of terror and bring Iran to the 21st century. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, has a ten-point plan for Iran’s democratic future that will end compulsory veiling, guarantee equal rights and protection under the law for women and religious and ethnic minorities, and establish a secular democracy where everyone can live free from tyranny.

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