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Women in Islamic Republic of Iran Constitution; a Review of Legal Status

Women in Islamic Republic of Iran Constitution; a Review of Legal Status

Women in Islamic Republic of Iran Constitution; a Review of Legal Status

Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran includes cultural, social, political and economic institutions of Iranian society based on the Islamic articles which are reflections of the true intent of Muslim Ummah.
Women as human sources retrieved their human rights and their true identity through this Constitution as opposed to the former arrogant regimes Constitution which was fully at the service of exploitation of women to foreigners benefits. Therefore, the necessity of vindication of womens rights increases because they have suffered more injustice in the last regime.
Family is the most basic unit of the society and the main center for human growth and development. Ideological and idealistic agreements are the underlying factors in family formation and its evolving movement toward human growth. Meanwhile, to provide facilities for this purpose is considered to be the duty of the Islamic government. According to such definition of family unit, a woman is not perceived as an object or means serving the culture of consumerism and exploitation. Resuming her grand challenging role in rainsing a good generation of human beings, a woman is as active as a man in the frontlines of life. Therefore, because of her more critical responsibilities, she is more respected and dignified based on the Islamic views.
Thus, according to Article 10 of the Constitution, all laws, regulations and planning should be done in a way to facilitate the formation of the family, to safeguard its sanctity and to stabilize relationships between men, women and the children on the basis of the Islamic laws and ethics. As a comprehensive and complete religion, Islam has not left any aspects, duties, rights, or requirements of human and human society unanswered.
Islam is a social system in which the happiness of all humans, of both men and women, has been perfectly considered. According to this social system men and women enjoy the same levels of significance in a given society. As opposed to the inhuman nature of slavery, the liberty of every human being is considered to be the main goal of Islam.
Under article 3, the government of Islamic Republic of Iran has the duty to ensure the comprehensive rights of all individuals including women and men, judicial security for all, and equality of all before the law Security of individuals is one of the most basic characteristics of Islamic legal system. Moreover, elimination of unjust discriminations and establishment of equal facilities for men and women in all material and spiritual aspects is much emphasized in this article. Womens right to participate in determining their political, social, and cultural life and to facilitate and expand education, higher education, and physical education for both men and women at all levels are considered as the accentuated duties of the government.
Article 21is focused on womens rights. According to this article, womens rights are ensured in all aspects based on Islamic standards. Creating a favorable environment for the growth of womens characters and reviving their material and spiritual rights are among the leading duties of the government. Protecting mothers especially when they are pregnant or single mother and protecting orphaned children are other duties entrusted to the government.
To establish and to maintain the judicial security for everyone are two other principles emphasized in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran. However, article 21 has accentuated this right by establishing competent courts to protect and preserve the family, and therefore, the especial security of presence of the women in court of justice has been increased.
Moreover, especial insurance for elderly abandoned widowed women should be assured by the government. Along with the material rights, the emotional and spiritual rights of women have been covered in article 21; for instance, custody of the children are granted to mothers in certain cases because motherhood is considered to be one of the purest and strongest human emotions.
Regarding the status of women in the Constitution, Womens Social and Cultural Council proposed Supreme Cultural Revolution Council to adopt Charter of Womens rights and Responsibilities in Islamic Republic of Iran in 2004. Inspired by the comprehensive and moderate sharia of Islam and based on the Constitution and the sublime thoughts of the founder of Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, this charter was
codified, and later to be ratified under the title of Act of Protecting Womens Rights and Responsibilities in National and International Arenas in Parliament and finally approved by the Guardian Council of the Constitution in 2005.
In fact, the second sectionof women issue focuses on enforcement of womens rights in Islamic Republic of Iran. To develop a comprehensive vision of justice and fairness in the society of women, this law is planned and codified to include signed and agreed upon rights and obligations, protective rights and universal rights common to all human beings.As a reference document of policy-making in cultural and social affairs The Women’s Rights and Responsibilities Charter stipulated in 3 Sections, 5 Chapters, and 148 Paragraphs in 2004.And accordingly, all affiliated organizations are obliged to observe the regulations and principles stipulated in this charter.This charter will be considered as a basis for introduction and stipulation of woman’s status in the System of Islamic Republic of Iran as well.
This Charter is founded on the basis of the fact that woman and man in Islam in the sight of God are equal regarding nature, purpose of creation, potential in benefiting from talents, acquiring values, excelling in values, reward and punishment for deeds regardless of gender.
The differences in rights and responsibilities do not indicate the superiority of one sex over the other, however, they are essentially based on natural difference between the two sexes.
According to the charter, especial consideration has been granted to individual rights of women in enjoying a decent life and physical and psychological health and in being protected from any diseases, accidents, and aggression. Moreover, freedom of thought, immunity against violation, and security in choosing ones belief have been ensured. The right to immune life, property, and dignity and protecting womens private life against illegal aggressions are also emphasized. To enjoy social justice in implementing law irrespective of gender is another right highlighted in the charter. Even the right to practice religious ceremonies and teachings according to individual religions has been granted to religious minorities. Iranian women have the right to use their local dialects and costumes. Besides, they are given the right to enjoy healthy environment.
Noteworthy are the rights and responsibilities of the girls in the charter. They are granted the right to enjoy proper custody bytheir guardians, decent housing, clothing, healthy nutrition, and adequate health care facilities to meet physical and psychological health standards. Educational provisions have been taken into consideration for the girls in the charter. To meet the emotional and psychological needs, to benefit from decent parental behavior, and to be protected from domestic violence are among other rights stated in the law. Moreover, the boy- girl discrimination should be removed and government has the duty to control and protect the orphaned girls or those who are under inappropriate guardians.
Married women enjoy the rights and responsibilities including the right to register the marriage officially, to determine stipulations in marriage contract, and to pursue the enforcement of those stipulationsduring the marriage. During marriage, the financial rights of women include current costs of proper hosing, clothing, health care treatment, pregnancy costs, breastfeeding, and other financial supports like dowry as the primary and essential rights.
Womens rights in the case of family dissolution and divorce are also remarkable. In a case of impossible reconciliation, awoman is given the right to divorce after bringing her case to a competent court while resuming her financial rights. For instance she has the right to stay in the common house at the expense of the man during eddah time (waiting period after divorce) and to remarry after this legal period expired.
The right to take care of and shoulder the guardianship of the children up to seven years old is dedicated to the mother; the father should support them financially. The right to visit the children in the case of expiry or disposal of the custody is reserved for women. According toparagraph 45 of the charter women have the right to bring the case of their husband remarriage to the courtif they mean to prevent it,and in the case of divorce to own half of the mens assets as an enforcement of the stipulations. To enjoy the financial rights of women is intended in this law.
Section 3 of the charter has been dedicated to women social rights and responsibilities. Policy making, lawmaking, management, executive affairs, monitoring cultural affairs, especially in women affairs, exchange of information, and international and national cultural interactions are the most characteristics of social rights.
To benefit health in work environment, comprehensive and equitable access to sport and educational facilities, and safe entertainment are among other mentioned rights in the law.
Women are granted the rights to enjoy appropriate health and care plans and facilities, and to access counseling services and medical tests to ensure the healthiness of the spouse at the time of the marriage.
The women and girls with physical, mental or psychological disabilities have the right to benefit from proper rehabilitation services.
The right to enjoy proper nutrition, particularly during the period of pregnancy andbreastfeeding are among priorities of social rights of the women in Islamic Republic of Iran.
The status of women in the sections related to education and research have not been ignored by the legislators. Women are granted the right to have access to higher education up to the highest academic levels and to acquire special skills and trainings, to carry out research, to author, translate, and publish books, and to participate in national and international academic and culturalgatherings and communities. Rights and responsibilities in planning teaching materials and syllabus, in enjoying the support in women academic researches and in managing research centers are among the privileges of the current law.
The significant percentage of women presence in universities, academic and educational centers indicates womens high levels of potentials and talents in responding to meet countrys needs.
Womens Status in Financial and Economic Affairs
They enjoy the right to own capital and private properties. The right to benefit from equal wages and privileges with men under equal working conditions, and to be exempted from compulsory, difficult, and dangerous work, the right to enjoy job security, ethical respect, and an immune working atmosphere have been taken into consideration. Moreover, women benefit from certain financial rights in family framework and after marriage. For instance, a woman has the right to receive alimony from her husband even if she has a job with an adequate salary.
Women inherit estate from a deceased husband, father, or children and, in case of their death, will receive pensions according to the law or contract.
They have the right to receive wages for breastfeeding and household chores from the husband.
The right to determine the dowry when the marriage is contracted and to receive and spend it whenever and whatever ways she wishes to has provided the women with a financial and economic support in Iranian society.
Womens Judicial Rights and Characteristics
Women benefit from legal trainings, measures, and judicial support to prevent oppression against women in family and society. They have the right to plead in especial family courts to safeguard the privacy of the family, and to facilitate the reconciliation and resolution of family conflicts. In case of aggressive behavior, being charged or commission of a crime, women have the right to have access to female police or other female disciplinary forces. If they cannot afford a lawyer, they have the right to use an appointed attorney and a legal consultant.
The accused women have the right to be protected from having their honor being abused, from defamation, and from individual and social punishments. Besides, they are granted the right to be exempted from punishment in cases of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and diseases. Moreover, when in prison, they have the right to visit parents, children, and husband according to the rules. To protect human dignity, the convicted women enjoy the right to benefit from appropriate hygienic, cultural and educational facilities in prisons aimed at rehabilitation and a return to a healthy social life. Girls have the right to be imprisoned at special youth centers called Juvenile Justice Center with appropriatespecial facilities for their rehabilitation.The woman under 18 years oldand with disqualified legal guardian will be protected by the Prosecutor General by applying the right of litigation against violators of her legitimate rights.
After glorious Revolution of Islamic Republic of Iran, women proved their competence in cultural, political, and social arenas. They have been a part of the judiciary system since then. According to the latest statistics of the countrys judiciary system, with judicial notifications, more than 460 cases of female judges are currently servingin the various judicial departments, including the provincial Court of Appeals - Court of Administrative Justices advisers – Supreme Organization of Law and legislations advisors–judiciary Deputy of provincial Courthouse– Deputy of the Public Prosecutors Office- Assistant Prosecutor - Assistant Prosecutor of public court and Islamic Revolutionary Court- Family Court judiciary advisor and other management positions.

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