For the past 400 years, except for a short period during the reign of the great Reza Shah and his useless son, Iranian women have been second class citizens. From forced wearing of the hijab, whether its full chador or roosari to a whole host of other things that most of us Iranian men have known and know about but haven't given enough crap to correct; examples are laws of divorce, inheritance, jobs, salaries, mandatory husband permission to do many things, custody etc etc.
Bottom line, if you ask most women in Iran if they feel equal to men, the answer is NO. Women have been systematically oppressed via teachings of Islam and men have benefited from this for at least 4 centuries. But, Iranian women have done everything they could to counter this systematic attempt. Some examples: Hijab has now been transformed to "mAnto and roosari" and the roosari sometimes covers 2/3 of their hair at best. Women now constitute 60% of university students. Women between ages of 28-38 are significantly more computer savy than their male counterparts. A lot more single Iranian women have been able to leave Iran via marriage and attend universities in Europe and Canada, henece making women the "more" educated sex in Iran.
I know that the IRI elements who scoure the web for anti regime info to counter will make this sound as if the IRI actually promoted all these good things for women of Iran; to enable them. But most of us know that is a big crock of crap. Women have done this inspite of the government attempts to oppress them. Ask this of any woman in Iran and you'll get to the truth.
Until the revolution, Bahais were, on a relative scale, more educated than the general public. A somewhat disproportionate % of them were doctors, university profs, architechts and industrialists; Sabet Pasal (first broadcast TV station, Pepsi factory), Arjmand family (Arj HVAC company) were a couple examples. Since the very first weeks of the so called revolution of 1980 and the formation of the Islamic Republic, the government of IRI has systematically done everything possible to make second class citizens out of the Bahais.
The steps taken included but were not limited to: 1) confiscation of real and personal property 2) prohibition of work in public or private enterprieses 3) prohibition of enterance into institutes of higher eductaion (public or private universities) 4) creation of an atmosphere of fear and in some cases encouragement to leave Iran.
To some extent the IRI goverment has succeeded. Until the revolution, 1 out of every 35-45 people in Iran was a Bahai. Now that figure is less than 1 out of every 250-350. There are no university professors, less than 100 doctors and 0 Bahai industrialists in Iran. Less than 25% of Bahai youth can get a university education (Bahais attend online university courses but due to government crack down it takes 7-8 years to finish a BA/BS degree).
If it was any other group besides the Bahais, 95% of them would have left Iran and the other 5% would have lived in destitude.
Just like the Iranian women, the Bahais have persevered 30 years of atrocities and have become stronger.
Like I have said many times before, until and unless women and Bahais are given their due rights, nothing will ever change in Iran.
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