Suppression of Women in Middle Eastern Societies like Iran
In many Middle Eastern countries women’s rights are often neglected, reaching from legal restrictions to “honor killings”. The main reason for that is the lack of separation between state and religion and the influence of the Sharia-law, which has a varying degree of importance in different countries. According the Sharia-law, males inherit twice as much as females and a woman’s word is not as valuable as a man’s in court, often leading to abusers and rapists to not be prosecuted. Another appalling issue is male guardianship over women restricting independent decision making including traveling and working, which is still prevailing in Saudi-Arabia, Yemen, Jordan and Iraq. In many of these countries there are also no laws against domestic violence, homicides are often diminished if it was an “honor killing”, and kidnapping and sexual abuse are accepted if the perpetrator intends to marry the victim.
Iran is the only country in which women of all religions and nationalities are forced to wear a hijab in public, only leaving their face and hands unveiled. Entering sports stadiums is also prohibited for women as well as trying to become president.
These laws have restrained women for years in their personal and professional life. Many law changes, like allowing women to drive or vote have only been made in recent years, which is why engaging women in social, economical and political branches remains a struggle.
Many alterations are needed in order to achieve gender equality.