Throughout #Iran, females are routinely blocked from pursuing their passions, be it in #sports, #science, #music, or other cultural forums. Often, the excuse for banning these females from performing, working, or participating in their sport revolves around specific violations of the fundamentalism that drives the #regime.
A recent example of this inequality and suppression can be found the decision by the Isfahan’s Department of Culture and Guidance, which prevented women musicians who are part of the Isfahan’s National Orchestra from going on stage and performing with the rest of the orchestra. They are permitted to perform in the rehearsals, but are banned from the actual performances in front of the public.
“Women musicians of Isfahan have not had the permission to go on stage for years. Why they cannot perform on the stage in their own hometown, is a question that has not been logically answered. There are many skillful players among women who are educated in music and have been playing for years,” said Shahrooz Baluchestani, a flutist in the orchestra.
The #orchestra had #concerts on January 12 and 13, but were not able to perform with their full compliment of musicians. These women are being denied the ability to play in their own hometown, based entirely on their gender, not their musical ability.
This is nothing new. The regime has created gender segregation rules for all aspects of life in Iran. From parties and get-togethers in individuals’ homes to the public spaces where genders are divided. A cemetery, which is not even open to the public, has officials enforcing the gender segregation. This segregation means that women are even to be separated from men after they have died.
Since the 1979 revolution, the Iranian government has enforced gender segregation regulations in certain public spaces, such as schools, #sports centers, and even on #public transportation.
Using these rules, the regime has been able to suppress Iranian women, keeping them out of high-ranking positions, particularly the presidency and positions as judges in the judiciary. Even in areas of higher education, women are forced to use specific entrances and attend segregated classes.
Particularly in politics, women are far behind men in terms of having their voice heard by the regime. In December 2015, the state-run ISNA news agency cited Falahati, an official at the presidential directorate of Women and Family Affairs, who acknowledged that “compared to the countries in the region such as #Azerbaijan, #Turkey, #Saudi #Arabia, and Oman, Iran ranks lower, but from an economic and political perspective it ranks even lower than Chad.”
This reality translates into an Iranian parliament where only 17 women among 290 members of parliament, giving women only a 5.8% participation. The numbers tell a story of women’s voices being stifled and oppressed. In the administration of Iranian cities and provinces, women only hold 13 positions of 2653 that are available as governors and mayors.
The fundamentalism of #Iran has used its rules and religion as a means to push an agenda that makes misogyny systemic and essentially makes women’s equality a crime and any of their freedoms as illegal.
The point appears to be to confine women to their homes, but in the process, the culture of Iran is being altered and negatively impacted. From the music to the education, these voices are being oppressed and silenced, but what is worse is that the regime uses ill-treatment and violence to keep women from breaking these laws of gender segregation.
Those who live in Iran are struggling to break through this systematic oppression. However, as the young people continue to protest and stand up to the #regime, there is hope of real change.