MEK Iran: No Expectations that Regime Has Changed its Attitude Towards Women
It didn’t take long after the so-called “honor killing” of 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi by her father that the reactionary Iranian regime appeared to leap into action by formulating a bill entitled “Protection, Dignity and Women’s Security.” This is an abridged version of an article appearing on the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)’s Women’s Committee page: It also wasn’t long before any optimism that the new proposed bill would do anything to ensure ‘protection, dignity, and security for Iranian women’ totally disappeared. If anything, as the amendments to the original bill, reveal, the legal situation for women in Iran has actually worsened.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) May 29, 2020
The bill is the last in a long line of such bills that go nowhere and do nothing. They simply reinforce the medieval state of women’s rights within Iran and make murders like that of Romina, actually more legitimate.
The news website of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), informed that a group of inhabitants of Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdistan province, organized protests on 28 and 29 May 2020 for the murder of Romina Ashrafi.
A group of women rights activists in Sanandaj in Kurdistan staged a protest against the brutal murder of 14 years old girl Romina Ashrafi in mullahs misogynist ruling.#رومینا_اشرفی pic.twitter.com/Z4WPxyo2mt
— mostafa.m Ⓜ️ (@MostafaMe4) May 29, 2020
The current bill has not even been entered by the Majlis (Iranian parliament) despite having been amended, refined, and diluted numerous times since it was first formulated.
According to a former member of the regime’s parliament, Parvaneh Salahshouri, “if this bill is passed, the situation for women will be much worse. The current bill removes the term ‘violence against women,’ and sections on women’s security are either omitted or modified in some way. As a result, the intent of the bill is lost. In this bill, they have manipulated words.”
No surprise that women’s rights effectively don’t exist
Of 22 members of the National Committee for the Protection, Dignity, and Women’s Security, only 1 is actually a woman! That is Massoumeh Ebtekar, the presidential deputy for Women and Family Affairs. Just to make sure that Iranian women are even more held back in time, two more officials from the Qom seminary, both male, provide medieval religious opinions about the status of women.
According to a spokesman for the judiciary and First Deputy Minister of Justice, the original legislation could have “shaken the foundations of the family.” What did he mean? This was explained by a legal adviser on women’s and family affairs, Ashraf Geramizadegan, who said that the phrase meant that the legislation “undermined the authority of men” in the family.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 6, 2020
The bill was never intended to prevent violence against women
Iranian women who complain that they are victims of sexual violence are invariably treated as the ones who have done wrong. The bill does nothing to address this obvious legal error as it represents the thinking of the misogynistic mullahs. Women who come forward with complaints of sexual violence against them are often punished horribly as happened to Romina Ashrafi. Again, the bill does nothing to address this inequity.
A lack of clarity in the bill is part of the problem. As the Director-General of Women and Family Affairs in Qazvin, Sedigheh Rabii, says, “there is no detailed and precise clarity in the various clauses of the bill. For example, in the section on the prohibition of forcing a woman to marry, it is not possible to find out exactly how young a girl cannot get married.”
Some excerpts from what other experts on the law as it applies to women follow:
- “Sexual exploitation, the formation of brothels, and organized sex trafficking are all manifestations of modern violence against women that this bill must address.” (Soodabeh Khosropour, a sociologist).
- “This bill cannot eliminate violence against women, because there is no belief in violence in the text and it pays more attention to crime, while the scope of violence is much higher than victimization. The new bill legalizes gender segregation, but it does not only mean the elimination of violence; the segregation itself is an act of violence against women.” (Alireza Mafi, a lawyer).
- “Violence against women is on the rise every year, and official statistics show only overt violence. A review of forensic statistics on violence, as well as referrals and contacts with the 123 social emergency system, show the upward trend of this violence. If this bill fails to define the proper enforcement guarantee, this issue will not be resolved. The bill does not provide the necessary support for abused women, and such women are forced to continue living passively in the current circumstances.” (Sedigheh Rabii).
— Women's Committee NCRI (@womenncri) October 7, 2020
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi consistently speaks up for women’s equality. In a 2019 speech, she said: “women are the force for change who is going to defeat the mullahs’ reactionary religious dictatorship.”
To be a woman and not surrender, to be a woman and persevere in struggle, to be a woman and instead of thinking about yourself, think about the liberation of your enchained people, this is something that has driven the mullahs crazy. #Iran #FreeIran pic.twitter.com/Qe0pwxXD6m
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) July 14, 2019