The crime of being a woman in Iran


What happened that a hashtag of #blue girl trended in tweeter for many days? What was the story of the #blue girl that made the whole world including FIFA to react?

 The real name of this girl was Sahar Khodayari, who died yet couldn’t watch the football match of her favorite team. Sahar used the male costume to enter the stadium since the Iranian women are not allowed to watch the football match in the stadiums. On the day of the football match between the Iranian team ( Esteghlal) and the Emirati team ( Alien), the police conducted the body search on fans. Sahar told the police that she is a girl to avoid being touched by them, immediately she was arrested by the police and jailed for 3 days. On 2nd September 2019 she went to the court to get some information about her case but she couldn’t find the judge. Instead she was told that she might be sentenced to 6 months to 2 years is prison. and after three days in the hospital, she died on the night of Friday 6th of September 2019. Nevertheless, the Iranian authorities refused to deliver her body to her family and she was buried secretly. Moreover, the authorities ordered the newspapers to censor this news and warned the newspaper against writing anything about her. But the fact was that the Internet and the Iranian users were so determined to raise their voice and inform the whole world about the horrendous tragedy that is happening in Iran. So #blue girl trended on social media and in particular in tweeter.  

History of the misogynist rhetoric and approach 

Since the revolution of 1975 in Iran. The systematic gender discrimination has been an inseparable part of its structure. The ideological government which established its pillars based on the self-interpretation of Islam restricted the most effective yet vulnerable part of the society; women.

The Islamic revolution has systematically committed to gender discrimination. At first, the dogmatic authorities enacted the rule of forced hijab, according to this rule all women need to wear hijab in public. This law was the first step that was taken by the government to restrict women’s presence in society. Never the less the Iranian women didn’t accept the unfair and authoritarian rules and regulations and protested against it. But they had been cracked down by the religious militia who were mobilized by the radical officials. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran has pinned down its patriarchal hegemony by misogynist laws and regulations. The embodiment of the injustice degrading of women has been manifested in the family law. As a daughter, sister, wife, a mother and above all as a human a woman has been categorized as a second-degree citizen.

As a daughter:

A girl cannot get married unless by the permission of her father. The father OWNS the life of his daughter. This barbaric rule has legalized the honor killing of women. In an honor killing the male relatives are responsible to kill a female who ” brought shame ” to the family. The definition of shame, of course, may include a wide range of excuses to justify the violence against women. Then the brothers or male relatives of the female will be assigned to a mission of ” wiping the stain” from the family. It means they are free to choose how to murder a girl. Finally, since the killing has been done by the father’s permission and or request there is no one to claim the “lost life”, as a result; there won’t be any legal prosecution for the murderers. The victim will be “erased” from life as if she had never existed.

As a sister:

In the case of the death of the parents, the woman’s share from the inheritance is half of her brother. The authorities justify this discrimination by claiming that the man is the breadwinner, so his share should be more than his sister. However, this minimization of the roles is the result of neglecting the constructive economical role of women in society.   

As a wife:

According to Iranian law, a wife is the “property” of a husband. A woman should “obey” her husband in everything and every matter that he desires. She is not allowed to have a passport, work or educate herself without her husband’s permission. Even if a woman has a passport her husband can ban her from traveling at any time he desires. He can make her drop out of the university at any time that he wishes to do so. And quite her job any time he fancies.

As a mother:

Custody battles are always brutal and painful, but for Iranian women, it is beyond humiliation. The history of child custody in Iran has been very dramatic. Historically men had the full custody of the child and in case of man’s death, the custody was being transferred to either their grandfather or the uncles(paternal). Shortly before the revolution women, activists succeeded to get the full custody of the children and lawfully the mother gained the full custody of her child. But after the Islamic revolution, the law turned against them. The revolutionary authorities couldn’t evoke the law, so they added an article to it. They turned the mother as a ” Legal Babysitter” of her child. In other words, the mother has the right to custody by she doesn’t have the right to decide for the child. For example, the mother cannot ask for the passport of her child unless she got the permission of the grandfather or parental uncles of her child.

Moreover, if an Iranian woman would marry a foreigner, she cannot pass her nationality to her child, since according to the Iranian law father is the only one who is eligible to have the child’s full custody.   

 As a woman:

An Iranian woman is forced to wear the hijab. They are not allowed to be president. Their voice has been smothered since they are not allowed to sing in public. They are not allowed to show their happiness by dancing in public. A woman’s testimony is not as equal as a man, because every man equals two women. A woman’s blood money is half of the man. Although the medical expenses for both men and women are the same if a woman gets hurt or injured she will be paid half of the man. And Finally as a football fan.      

Iranian women are not allowed to watch football matches along with their brothers, fathers, husbands and or sons. For example, a mother is not allowed to go into the stadium where her son is playing in a national football team. Although it should be reminded that banning women from going to the stadium has never been justified and stated in any article of the Iranian constitution but the totalitarian government in Iran is using it to intimidate the women and bully them. When some women like Sahar stood up against the injustice and burnt themselves the machine of the propaganda of the regime launched a new scenario. They labeled her as mentally ill who suffered from bipolar disorder. Of course, this is not the first and the last time that women have been labeled but what is certain is that these women will be marked as the torch on the way of freedom and equality.

This article is written by Zahra Moravvej for Norway Today.

© #Norway Today

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