Women in contemporary Iran live quite a different life than women in the Western world. Here is the top 7 facts about women in Iran.
7. Women in Iran are not allowed to keep their faces open (outdated)
You have seen pictures of Iranian women wearing a hijab, haven’t you? Perhaps you have even stumbled upon a woman in an international airport who would wear a hijab, so you would only see her piercing eyes and you kept wondering what on Earth is wrong with her?
This is with sharia rule that imposes all women to wear a hijab that would cover their faces. In fact, women in Iran are allowed to keep open in public only their hands. That’s all.
Some jealous husbands can even demand their wives to close the entire body and face with clothes while keeping a sort of veil on the eyes. This tradition has been reflected in numerous movies and has been a subject of recent regulations in some European countries, ruling that women are not allowed to wear hijabs in public. But that is another story.
But in our time this tradition is not so strictly followed by Iranian women, and many of them have open faces while walking along the streets.
6. Women in Iran like to dress elegantly
Despite the hijab rules, Iranian women like to dress in a most elegant fashion. They are not too different from Cuban women or women in New York in that respect. If you look closely at the pictures of women from Iran, you will see that underneath a hijab they wear clothes advertised in high profile fashion magazines.
Iranian women love wearing classy garments. However, to appreciate fully the garments Iranian girls wear, you have to be included in the list of close friends and be invited to a party in her house. You will see they are not shy of wearing jeans, mini-skirts, and they are masters of applying intricate make-up as well.
5. Women in Iran should ride separately from men (outdated)
Official regulations in Iran do not allow women to travel on a train in the same compartments and cars the men travel in. In fact, every public transportation carrier has separate vehicles for men and women. In Iran, sometimes there are even ticket offices that have separate lines for men and women. That is, if they would get to go riding alone in the first place.
A lot of Iranian women are not going out of their houses without being accompanied by their husbands at all.
4. Women in Iran can work as Government officials
Despite many limitations women in conservative Iran face, they are allowed to be elected as Government officials. There are Iranian women that work as ministers, as deputies in the Parliament, in police, and even in the special military troops. This makes Iran a comparatively progressive country in the Middle East. Consider, for example, Saudi Arabia, where women are prohibited from having a position in any above-mentioned structures.
Women in modern Iran are as well-educated as men are. According to the statistics, female students comprise slightly more than 50 percent of all Iranian students. The number of graduate Iranian women has increased by 70 percent compared to the 1970s.
Interestingly, the job regulations allow women in Iran not to work at all, while men are forced to work after they get educated.
3. Sexual activities are not allowed for women before they are married
Women in strict Iran are not allowed to have sex with anybody before they have been officially taken as wives. Should they be caught having sex before marriage, they will be punished with a severe penalty.
The minimal age a girl can engage to be married in Iran is 13, while men are allowed to get married only at the age of 15. Despite this very early age women can marry in Iran, statistics show that an average age when women get married in Iran is 23, while men are married at 26 on average.
A marriage is a great deal for women in controversial Iran, as she would get around $10 000 for being taken as wife.
2. Polygamy is allowed in Iran
Men in Iran can marry up to four women simultaneously. The tradition known as polygamy is quite widespread in the Middle East. However, there are a lot of nuances to that.
Women in polygamist Iran have a say in whether their husbands can marry another woman. That is, if a first wife is not ok with her husband bringing another wife in the house, nothing happens.
In practice, polygamy is a rare case in Iran for economic reasons. A man, who marries multiple women in Iran, bears a burden of paying for all his wives fully. According to existing marriage regulations, all the property is owned by a husband and a wife equally. Not many women in modern Iran would allow another woman to be subject to their property.
What is more, a mullah who has to register husband and wife is actually checking the money statement of a man who is about to marry several women. If the mullah sees that a man cannot bear all the financial obligations, he would not register such engagement. One would wonder, is polygamy one of the female inventions after all?
1. Divorce, Iranian style
Do women in Iran get divorced? Yes, they do! Women divorced in Iran are allowed to remain with their kids for a while, before those are taken permanently to their father. If a child is a boy, he can stay with his mom until he is 2; and if it is a girl, she can stay with a mother until she is 7.
Besides, if a father doesn’t mind, the kids are allowed to stay for more. After boys of divorced parents are 14 years of age, and girls are 9 years of age, they have a say on what to do: which parent they want to stay with.
What do you think about a way women live in Iran? Feel free to comment in the section below.