Campaign for One Million signature’s demands and the government of Ahmadinejad / Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani
Translated by Karineh Kanants
Tuesday 5 August 2008, by
Feminist School (Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani): On July 9 when the Iranian society was painfully witnessing the arrests of the university students, the sudden announcement of the passed Bill on "Support of Families" by the legal and judiciary commission of the parliament was broadcast.
This Bill amongst the activists of women’s movement is known as "Anti family Bill" that was introduced by Mr Ahmadinejad’s government on the 26th of august â€¦â€¦in the cultural commission of the parliament which was at the same time as the anniversary of the "Campaign for One Million Signatures for Change of Discriminatory Laws". Since the introduction of this Bill many of the women organisations have voiced their objection as this Bill exerts more discrimination to women legally and in fact it is return to discriminatory laws of 40 years ago. Clause 23rd of the Bill "polygamy" was not removed but in fact strengthened with more clauses towards submitting women to more discrimination. Such as "permission of the wife" as a condition to polygamy has been changed to "Financially ability".
According to current law, a man can carry if he has the wife’s permission and each man can have 4 wives at the same time, in Iran usually women are financially dependant on the husband and one of the reasons for that is the law that allows the husband to decide whether the wife can works outside the home or not, hence this dependency pressures the wife to yield to the husband’s multi marriage as well as physical violence, emotional abuse and because the law protects the man by forcing the woman to obey as a rule there is nothing else but to submit to the husband’s demand for permission.
Before the 1979 revolution the family protection law was follows:
A man is not allowed to have a second wife whilst still married unless below conditions apply. Resolution 16
1) First wife’s permission
2) Incapability of the first wife to carry out
3) The wife doesn’t obey the husband
4) The wife has mental illness or untreatable diseases equal to clause 5&6 in resolution 8
5) The wife lacks conformity clause 8 resolution 8
6) Wife’s addiction to dangerous substances clause 9 resolution 8
7) Wife walking out of marriage
8) Wife being sterile
9) Missing. Clause 14 resolution 8
The above was the first law that became void after the revolution and replaced by polygamy which according to statistics between 1976 to 1986 number of men with multiple wives increased by 145 percent, in other words in 1976 when the protection law was ratified for the second time 10 out 1000 men had more then one wife but after the revolution 24 out of 1000.
Until Ahmadi Nejad’s presidency the First wife’s permission was ratified by the parliaments before, since the present government has a stronger stance against women’s equality the family protection law resolution has been introduced by one of the parliamentary commissions to be changed in favour of polygamy.
Mosa Ghorbani one of the MP’s of the Iranian parliament during an interview by the reformist Etemad newspaper asked if the resolution has been ratified or not Mosa Ghorbani stated "This resolution is in conjunction and all the commotion is made by you and since its in conjunction it will be ratified in the parliament and no one will dare and has the right to disagree" the MP’s response is the mirror image of Ahmadi Nejad’s approach to women’s issues.
It has been more than 2 years that the Campaign for one million signatures has been active and has been able to influence the common conception within the society on women’s issues and one of our main objectives has been to cancel the law on polygamy, after introducing this plan Shirin Ebadi and other women and men lawyers condemned the law. The law has been condemned by some women within the government for example the editor of the paper Zynab Society which is a pure Islamic organisation, the fundamentalist women and the women from Mosharekat (The reformists) have voiced their concern and condemnation of this law.
The campaign for one million signatures will strive in peaceful manner to stop this anti women law.
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