March 25, 2023

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Iranian Muslim woman and the third design of women

TEHRAN- The narrative of the Islamic revolution regarding the new identity of Iranian women, along with the capitalist system’s narrative about women, has become a site for a full-scale ideological and cultural battle more than ever before. The recent story of Mahsa Amini’s death and the controversy surrounding it in Iran has revealed this battle in all its intensity.

The courageous Iranian Muslim woman aims to create a new and more realistic model for Iranian women, distinct from the two common models. The first model is the western capitalist narrative of women, which has turned them into objects of enjoyment, abuse, and inhumane and objectifying exploitation. The second type is the narrative of the isolated and passive eastern woman, who has been sidelined and has had no role in history making.
The third model is the Iranian Muslim woman’s narrative, which seeks to present a new identity of women based on the values of the Quran and ethics. Iranian Muslim women have opened a new chapter in the history of women globally and have shown that it is possible to be a woman, be modest, veiled, and honorable while also being at the forefront of political and social activities. They have proven that it is possible to maintain a clean family stronghold and make new and great achievements in the political and social arena.

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian Muslim women were able to excel in various fields, including education and science, and benefited from the right to education as one of their important human rights. The right of women to higher education in the Islamic Republic of Iran is considered a natural and innate right of every human being, and accordingly, in the religion of Islam, which is the basis of legislation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, this important right is recognized equally for women and men.

As a result of these measures, the share of Iranian female students in the country’s public universities has reached 56%, and the number of female faculty members has exceeded 3.33%. Additionally, the share of female faculty members in medical science universities has reached 34%, while the share of female specialist doctors has increased to 40%, and the number of female authors and publishers has also risen to more than 9500 and 840, respectively. These successes are just a part of the realization of the ideals of the Islamic revolution, which should be highlighted.

According to the leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, respecting women means that women should be given the time to use the excellent and highlighted powers and faculties that God Almighty has placed in every human being – including the special faculty of women – to be able to emerge and make use of them.

• Over 2390 women serve on the boards of directors of knowledge-based companies, and women make up 33.3% of faculty members at universities.

• Women hold 25.2% of all government positions at all levels, and they serve in delicate positions such as 1000 judges or presidents of the Environment Organization in four frequent terms.

• According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2022), women’s life expectancy has increased from 63 years in 1991 to more than 79 years in 2019 (compared to men’s 75 years).

• Proper access to 60 midwives and 2.8 gynecologists has been provided per 100,000 women in different parts of the country.

• The mortality rate of children under 5 has decreased by 14.2 per 100,000 live births.

• Currently, Iranian young girls and women have access to 784 different vocational majors in various sectors, including agriculture, industry, and services. Among them are mechanics, computer sciences, electronics, IT, ICT, etc. (Interactive Dialogue – Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), 13-24 March 2017, 4th meeting, 2017).

• Women constitute a significant proportion of ICT users in Iran, with 45% of total mobile users, 48% of computer users, and 48% of internet users being female.

• Iranian women have won 3,302 medals at recent international sports events, having access to 16,111 gyms. In Islam, men and women are considered completely equal as human beings. According to the leaders and thinkers of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, respecting women means giving them the time to flourish and use the excellent faculties that God has placed in them. This view is derived from the Quran and Islam. Islam views men and women equally, regardless of gender, in their pursuit of developing their talents. Ayatollah Khamenei states that Islam’s perspective on gender is secondary and that the primary viewpoint is that of humanity. Gender does not play a role in the major human issues related to humans, and there is no difference between men and women in this regard. Gender is a secondary and temporary matter that gains meaning in the functions of life, but it has no effect on the fundamental course of humanity. Ayatollah Khamenei has always criticized the Western perspective on women, believing that the Western tradition and capitalist system have misunderstood women and failed to uphold women’s human rights. Unfortunately, this misconception has become a common coin in the world, leading to misguided and harmful actions. He also considers the notion that women are no different from men and should strive for gender equality as fundamentally wrong. He states that Islam’s view of men and women is that of humankind. There is no difference in terms of humanity, spiritual growth, intellectual and scientific talents, except for different formats for different job classes, and same duties.

In this regard, the question arises as to whether it is a service to remove the two genders from their unique positions and reduce them to a mere entity in a special area. This is what the Westerners are doing.

Ayatollah Khamenei believes that in Islamic thought and the Qur’anic view, women, with their feminine strengths which Almighty God has endowed them with, can play an exceptional role in society. This is due to their deep faith, stability, modesty, and chastity which illuminates the space around them. No man can play such a role. Like a firm mountain of faith, at the same time like a bubbling spring of affection, love, and feminine feelings, they quench the thirsty and needy with the fountain of their patience and affection. Humans can be nurtured in such a blessed embrace. If women with these characteristics did not exist in the world, humanity would have no meaning. This is the meaning of the value and identity of a woman, something that the petrified brains of the Westerners cannot comprehend.

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