Monday, June 13, 2005

Hundreds of women protest sex discrimination in Iran :: NYT

The protest was the first public display of dissent by women since the 1979 revolution, when the new regime enforced obligatory veiling. "We are women, we are the children of this land, but we have no rights," they chanted. More than 250 marched outside Tehran University, and about 200 others demonstrated two blocks away after hundreds of riot police swarmed in and barred them from joining the main protest.
. . .
Iranian law stipulates that the value of a woman's life and her testimony in court are half those of men. Iranian men can marry up to four wives and have the right to divorce any of them at will. A woman inherits half of the share her brothers receive and needs her husband's permission to work outside the home or to leave the country. Women are rarely promoted to high positions, and despite their relatively high levels of education, they make up only 14 percent of the government employees.
. . .
A group of women activists found the courage to force their way into the stadium to watch a soccer game between Iran and Bahrain on Wednesday for the first time since the Islamic Revolution banned women from watching games at the stadiums. For four hours, they carried signs that read, "My right is also human rights," and "Freedom, justice and gender equality."

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