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Iran-Women: Women cannot enter any field, including financial and economic arenas – Khamenei

Women suppression in IranSupreme Leader insisted on gender apartheid

NCRI, September 3 – In an appalling and misogynistic comment, mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tried to justify gender apartheid and denying women the right to political and social activity under the medieval theocracy ruling Iran.

In remarks carried by the state-controlled news agency, IRNA, last Sunday, Khamenei said, "Men are suited to enter economic and financial arenas… Women, however, have preoccupations. They must give birth and feed the child, and they are physically, psychologically and emotionally soft. They cannot enter into every field. They cannot tolerate every interaction. These create restrictions for women in financial and economic fields and related activities. Men do not have these restrictions. In this respect, privilege must be given to men because they are strong."

As such, Khamenei again justified systematic discrimination in law and practice against women as well as their increasing deprivation from participating in society’s social and political affairs. In doing so, he put aside the clerical regime’s pretenses of supporting women’s rights in the past eight years, particularly during the recent sham Presidential elections, that were merely designed for foreign consumption.

To this end, a woman Parliament deputy, Fatemeh Ajarlou, responding to the question as to why there were no women in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, told semi-official news agency, ILNA, on August 29, "Not choosing a woman as a cabinet member or in the parliament leadership is an exercise in democracy."

Another woman, Seddiqeh Kiani, from the ultra-conservative pro-Khamenei grouping Allied Association (Mo’talefeh) told the same news agency, "The more women are kept away from interacting with strangers is better for them. We have no objections to the absence of women in the cabinet." In trying to justify the mullahs’ medieval mindset, she said, "One must not insist on the presence women in areas where men could be used. That they say a woman should not become a judge is because women are flexible and it would not be proper for them to witness disputes and arguments every day or issue death sentences for any one."

Ms. Sarvnaz Chitsaz, Chairwoman of NCRI’s Women’s Committee, said, "The mullahs’ misogynous remarks are before anything else a reflection of their fear over the increasing role women are playing in the struggle against this misogynist regime and their pivotal role in toppling the ruling theocracy."

Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
September 3, 2005